Friday, July 15, 2011

Things I Hated About Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2

Location: Home
Listening to: Parks & Rec

Oh my God, you guys. Words can not describe how incredibly, terribly, horribly disappointed I was in HP&TDH2. If you haven't seen it and do not wish to have your view tainted by my negativity or would care not to see any SPOILERS, I suggest skipping this post.

I have been a fan of Harry Potter practically since I could read. I remember my mom ordering the books off of Amazon after Chamber of Secrets came out because she had heard good things about them. I was in first grade or so. By the end of Sorcerer's Stone, my entire family was hooked and we pre-ordered every book in the series since. When the new books would come, I would snatch them and scurry off to my room to read them in an all-night marathon. I had to read them in one sitting. I refused to talk to anyone or do anything until I had finished.

Harry Potter makes me geek out like no other (as you could probably tell by my excitement when I got my Hogwarts letter). Which is exactly why I hated the last movie.

I was one of many who went to see it at midnight last night. I was super pumped and danced around Brad's apartment like an idiot while I was waiting to leave. I was looking forward to the brilliant movie that I was sure would follow the incredibly accurate HP & The Deathy Hallow pt. 1. (I was also really looking forward to the commemorative 3D glasses).


The first 20 or so minutes followed the last movie's trend of nearly spot-on accuracy, forgiving the minor changes that understandably had to take place due to discrepancies in previous movies and the unforgiving time limit.

After Harry, Ron, and Hermione got to Bellatrix LeStrange's Gringots vault, though, it was like a completely different story. The only way I can think of describing it is like playing a game of telephone and being the person who starts the message. You know what the last person is supposed to say, but somehow things got jumbled up in the process and the final result only vaguely resembles what you know to be right. It was like the people who made the movie hadn't read the books, looked up a paragraph summary of the main events, and fudged the rest to get from point A to B. I started compiling the following list in my head. And continued to compile for the next two hours.

Things I Hated About Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2

-Minor things that didn't need to be changed were changed for no reason at all. Hermione comes up with the idea to use the dragon to escape Gringots in the movie, whereas it was Harry's idea in the book. Also, the treasure in the vault was supposed to cause painful burns to anyone who touched it. There was no sign (except for a brief moment after their escape where they all rub some stuff on their hands) that any of them suffered any injury in the attempt. This trend continued throughout the entire movie.

-Major plot points were eliminated or altered nearly to the point of being unrecognizable, apparently to leave enough room for the final, overly CG battle scene where Harry and Voldemort chase each other around Hogwarts. Suddenly it doesn't matter how Dumbledore got the Elder Wand, or what happened to his sister. Harry's search for Ravenclaw's diadem is completely botched. The house elves never come save the day (although, the importance of the house elves was eliminated from the movie series entirely). Grawp just disappeared. The centaurs don't help. You only know that Lupin and Tonks have a child from one passing comment. Voldemort's spells don't seem unaffective on the crowd of Hogwarts fighters, so you never see the proof that he is not the master of the Elder Wand, Harry just randomly comes up with the theory that he is it's true master. Harry snaps the Elder Wand in half at the end and throws it away, not even bothering to repair his broken wand that we know Hermione saved because it was a big deal in the previous movie. 

-Nitpicky things that bothered me: Hermione is suddenly an expert broomstick flyer, despite it supposedly being the one thing she can't do. Hermione and Ron chase Nagini, the snake, around with basilisk fangs for about 15 minutes before Neville just randomly appears to chop it's head off. The underage kids are never sent home. Helena Ravenclaw's back story about the diadem is totally left out and replaced by confusing dialogue. There isn't a big fight scene in the Great Hall, and the statues don't actively fight with the humans (they are sent out to the front lines initially, but you don't see them fighting ever). For some reason Snape's memories he gives to Harry about his mom come out in the form of tears. I could go on....

The movie wasn't completely awful. I mean, I didn't like it, but it had some funny lines and was a well made movie. I love Neville, so seeing him be a badass was fun, and Snape's flashback/penseive made me cry. But that was about the only part I approved of.

I can practically hear you all rolling your eyes and muttering, "Gee, Abbie, tell me how you really feel." As far as I know, I am one of the few people who didn't completely love the movies.

Did any of you see HP7.2 at midnight? Did you dress up or do anything fun to celebrate? What did you think of the movie? Leave your thoughts in the comments! I'm dying to know!


  1. I completely and utterly agree with you. Though sad as I am that the series is finally coming to an unforgiving end, I am also glad it is over. Now it is time for the years and years of re-runs on ABC Family and revisiting the Wizarding world. I went to the movies last night at 11:00 pm to make sure I could get a ticket and the only showing they had available in 3D was at 3:00 am. I sat with my friend Brandon for 4 hours just to get in. Finally it was time to watch it, and I've never been so tired in my life. I think that might have been part of the reason for my complete disappoint in the film. I feel as though David Yates wanted it to be powerful, full of action and swelled with tension. Yet he forgot to have the three main characters really interact. And what was with the fade-out scene at the end? I mean, Voldemort has been torturing, haunting, and killing everyone in their lives for years and years and they are just standing there in silence holding hands? I mean it's cute...but ugh. I didn't cry for this movie and I usually am a huge sap. This movie didn't allow me to step inside of the characters and feel their pain, or know how it feels to lose everyone close. (Fred, Lupin, Arthur, Snape,..) I feel like it was forced and everyone was going "End, end, end, end." in their heads. Including J.K. Rowling as she wrote the end to the last book. I feel as though it was not the end that she intended when writing it. That is until everyone complained to her that she -might- kill Harry. Yes, we all love Harry. Yes, we want him to be happy and be with Ginny(Even though I didn't buy their "romance" for once second...Same with Ron and Hermoine..What was with that random kiss that you couldn't see?) But if he had to die, then we had no right to step in and ask J.K. to save him for selfish reasons. However I am going to stop trolling. I love Harry Potter, it -was- and will forever be my childhood like so many others. But I can't help but feel this lingering disappointing nagging that is still with me, keeping me awake hours after watching the end. (Also 3D I will not recommend. Thousands of bits of Voldemort exploding made me almost vomit.)

  2. Hermione*** (Fail) Oh and also, I did choke up a bit at the Snape pensieve part. I'm not saying everything in the movie didn't add up to my expectations. But I can't help but feel like they split the movie in half for more run-time, and still rushed?

  3. I saw it at midnight, wearing my "MAKE LOVE NOT HORCRUXES" t-shirt, got to the theatre 2.5 hours early to get good seats, sat front row center for the 2D showing (no thanks 3D headache) and welcomed the opening scene with excitement and a slight reserve. I wasn't expecting perfection, but I did have hopes of genuine emotional pulls. I agree with you on the nit-picky stuff. It feels like when they want to go by the book, they do it word for word, and then when they want to stray, they go as far from the original story as they possibly can. I think my least fave change was Harry just snapping the Elder wand and tossing it. For an object that was so built up in reputation and chased throughout two films, it seemed a very unbefitting end that didn't hold any reverence for the object's importance at all. I really wanted Harry to repair his wand and place the Elder one back with Dumbledore. Also, they apparently can't make Hermione look like she's in her 30s at all. The guys looked good in the epilogue, but I was hoping the movie would have given us more to that. I love the image of Snape holding Lily after finding her body. His death was very well done, I thought, even though the tears thing was also a bit strange. I DO wish that they had showed more of Snape and Lily as teens at Hogwarts. I didn't buy that she just fell in love with this trouble maker James and that their friendship every really dissolved.

    Overall, I thought it was good. There were some really beautiful moments, even amidst the chaos of plot-changing. And Neville was legit. I need to see it again, now that the stigma of it being the end is fading, so I can catch all the things I didn't the first time, and be able to tell whether or not I feel more satisfied with it. Either way, I will always prefer the book world.

  4. And I did hate A LOT that all of Dumbledore's backstory was just left out. I mean, I get that the books are a way better medium in which to discuss who Dumbledore really was, but still. Sigh. Also, hey random Siruis' mirror thing awkwardly created back story that makes no sense because you didn't take the time to put it in the fifth film like you should have. Pfft.

  5. Saw it today in IMAX and I liked it, I didn't love it. As with most books it needed more screen time to tell the story. I can only imagine how bad it would have been in one movie. I thought all the main actors looked wore out and ready to be done with the characters. 10 years is a long time to be a character I think. At the end of the day I'm glad they got made into movies, but am so glad I read all the books. Not enough people will.

  6. This is coming a bit late in the game :), but I hated a lot of things about this movie too. (And I hate how most people unthinkingly fell head over heels for it.)

    My biggest complaint aside from all the unnecessary changes is that so many actions/interactions don't feel realistically urgent or emotional. Characters who should be going balls to the wall in this huge life-or-death situation are just standing around calmly. One example: Ron and Hermione open the door to the Chamber of Secrets only to stand there as if they're not sure they should go in. Get the fuck in there and grab some fucking basilisk fangs, already!

    David Yates has demonstrated a pattern of neutering HP characters emotionally and rendering them so understated that their personalities dissolve. Where's the anger and adrenaline that are naturally a part of this kind of battle? Why is Ginny just sitting across the room after Harry not only turns out to be alive, but has finished off the baddest bad guy ever? Lastly and maybe most annoyingly, there was no sense of triumph at the defeat of Voldemort. Sure, loved ones died, but the whole freaking world has been saved! (If not nearly as epically as in the book.)

    To me, the book-version of Neville seemed way more badass than the movie version. He was supposed to be a hardened guerrilla fighter at this point, and yet he still can't look Voldemort in the eye or speak out forcefully to say 'no, I won't be joining you' towards the end. Another neutered character.

    And lastly, the duel between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix was completely, totally bungled.

    Anyway, thanks for providing a forum in which people can vent about this hugely disappointing film!

  7. I know this post's old and all but what the hell.

    Glad I'm not the only one who didn't enjoy the last part of the series. I just feel it was utterly rushed. Rowling spent all these years building up suspense for the upcoming battle...and then just writes it in one bloody paragraph. And that is only partly why I heavily disliked DH.

    Loved the first, second, third, bits of fourth, and the sixth (purely for Draco). The rest may as well not even exist as far as I'm concerned.

  8. I hated the part when Harry kills Voldemort. In the book they do it in the great hall where there's loads of people watching so it's awesome! But in the film they do in some random empty area. And afterwards everyone's just happily talking EXCUSE ME THE WIZARD WHO KILLED YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES AND CLASSMATES IS DEAD YOU SHOULD BE CELEBRATING! How did they even know that Voldemort was dead?And Harry throwing away the Elder Wand, that was horrible.
    (Sorry for my rant)