Directed by David Yates
Warner DVD and Blu-ray, out now
Desperate to find a way to stop Lord Voldemort, Harry, Hermione and Ron begin an epic road trip…
Maybe none but the most rabid Potter fans would have sat through five hours of solid J.K. Rowling adaptation, but this first half of the movie version of the final Harry Potter novel doesn’t really stand up as a movie in its own right. No quarter is given for anyone who isn’t up to speed on the various characters and events in the series, and the makers assume we all remember all the plot details from the previous film.
There are some terrific set pieces – the escape from suburbia at the start, the attack on the wedding, and the raid on the Ministry of Magic among them – but the pace falters in the second half during the interminable cross country trip to find the Horcruxes. The extended running time allows for some nice character moments (Harry and Hermione dancing, for example), but it could have done with more counterpointing with Lord Voldemort making his plans.
If you’re planning on going to see Part 2 in the coming days, then I heartily recommend rewatching both The Half-Blood Prince and this before you go; but if you’re new to the Potter phenomenon, go back to the start.
Verdict: Feeling more like the start of a mini-series than a film in its own right, this is one for the fans. 6/10