I saw this on July 17th in 3D during my weekend off. This day will go down as the end of my career with Harry Potter. I read the first book when I was in the 4th grade and read the last one before my senior year of high school. Consequently, I saw the first movie in theaters back in middle school and saw the last movie before my senior year of college. Harry Potter has been one of the biggest figures in terms of pop culture in my life, and though I didn't get emotional in the theater, it is a bit sad to see series end. However, it ended it a great way.
This has got to be one of my favorite Harry Potter movies. I never really disliked any of them, and I'll probably review the first six at some point, but this is up there in the top 3 for me. Everything about this production is great, as always. The acting is great, the directing is solid, and it keeps true to most points from the book. However, the action is ramped way up this time, which some, myself included, will enjoy compared to other, more boring films in the series.
There were only two things that I didn't like about this movie. First, I felt like the 3D was OK, but not great. It added depth to a lot of scenes, and some of the effects were pretty cool in 3D, but overall, I felt like I would have enjoyed the movie just as much without it. To this date, there have been maybe only one or two movies that have used 3D to improve the experience, but this wasn't one of them. As the film went on, I forgot I had them on, which sounds good, but it just shows hot little they improve the experience as a whole. I'm hoping this trend of using 3D to cause higher ticket prices ends soon, and that 3D is only used if it can further improve the artistic quality of a film.
The other thing that bugged me was that the movie felt kind of rushed. I know all the rising action took place in the last movie, but I just felt like overall, things seemed rather hurried. Not that this is a bad thing, but I guess I wanted the last film in the series to be really long and epic. Heck, this is the shortest Harry Potter movie in the whole series, but the most happens. I guess this goes to show how well the filmmakers could fit all of this material in a little over two hours, but the first few movies were each at least two and a half hours, and this one has way more stuff going on in it. I don't know, this may be a personal complaint, but it was enough to bother me a little.
One other thing to note is how impressive the whole Harry Potter movie series is as a whole. Some of this has been said before, but here's a series that has had almost the entire principal cast play the same roles for almost a decade and create and entire world on film that has reached millions across the world. A production of this magnitude has never been accomplished in the history of Hollywood, and should be recognized. I would not be surprised if this gets nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It would deserve the nomination, and maybe even the win, for what it has done to the film industry.
And on a side note, I pray that we do not see another sequel, or a prequel, or a remake, or a 3D transfer of the first 7 films, or a spin-off of this series for a really long time. In 50 years, sure, go ahead and remake it for a new generation to see. If that happened, I wouldn't be too upset, even though you could just show kids these films and they would love them. But I hope that no one from Warner Bros. gets greedy and decides to do one of these options now. I know that Warner Bros. is hurting because "Green Lantern" flopped, this series is over, "The Dark Knight Rises" ends the Batman series next year, and unless "Man Of Steel" does well, they won't have a "tent-pole" franchise to compete with the other studios. But I really hope they don't sink to that level this early. Please guys, I'm begging you. Please don't do it. This series is too good mess with.
Overall, this is a great film. I know my opinion isn't going to change anyone's mind, since you're already on the Harry Potter bandwagon or aren't. All I have to say is thank you to J.K. Rowling for creating a series, a character, and a world that has been so endearing to me for the past decade or so, and I'm glad to see it end this way.