Here there be spoilers.
I wanted so badly to love Deathly Hallows, Part II. I really did. My friends all proclaimed their love for the movie, have seen it multiple times, and assured me that I, too, would love the movie.
Yes, there were portions of the film that I really enjoyed–the Pensieve sequence being one, Helena Bonham Carter as Hermione Polyjuiced to be Bellatrix, and the visual effects (the dragon in Bellatrix’s Gringott’s vault, Voldemort turning to ash) but I felt the film was lacking.
Firstly, there was no true beginning. It just sort of started. I recognize that it was the second part of a book. But the structure was missing. As such, I felt it was very anti-climatic.
Within its structural issues, I felt that there was little sense of character. The Golden Trio, Neville, Snape, yes, but everyone else felt like cameos and nothing more than that. I was waiting for Trewlaney’s moment of awesome, when she chucks crystal balls at Death Eaters. Nonexistant. Fred’s death failed to have any emotional impact on me. Hagrid was…weak. Boring. He didn’t seem phased with Harry’s “death.”
Secondly, its too damn long. I love battle scenes as much as the next girl, but seriously. These are too long. I don’t want to watch a two hour battle scene. Its part of the reason why I don’t like The Two Towers all that much. Honestly, though, not enough happens to make it a compelling battle scene. There is no story to it, only fighting. The quest for the final horcruxes feels almost secondary, it detracts from the fighting, which has taken precedence.
Finally, it was unnecessary. I can hear people screaming, “what? why? we need to know how it ends!” Well, as a film, it was unnecessary. Deathly Hallows Part I could have been forty-five minutes longer, cut down on the ‘and we’re walking’ portions of the movie, and the final battle could easily have been included. Edited, of course. I gladly would have sat through a three hour Deathly Hallows, so long as it was well paced and engaging. The thing that hurts the most is that it could have been a fabulous single movie, the pieces are all there, but two mediocre halves do not a good movie make.