In this edition of Sequel City, I will cover the eighth and supposedly last Harry Potter movie, which I saw at a midnight screening. That’s not the special part. What is special is that, for the first time, I am reviewing a sequel without having seen its predecessors. Or read any of the books.
Is this scandalous? Or just plain dumb? Well, I have never been a Harry Potter fan, perhaps because of when I was born and the gender I was born with. It just didn’t happen. But I figured I could be missing out on a prime opportunity here. The last Harry Potter movie—or to put it another way, the last Harry Potter sequel—would only come out once. I had to be there to experience it!
Because I am not really qualified to give anything like a knowledgeable review on this movie, I’m not going to. I’m sure there will be other reviews on Pop Bunker coming up, and really, I think you know if you’re going to see this one already or not. What follows are a few thoughts of mine from going to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 at 12:01 a.m. on July 15, 2011.
My friend Molly is a big fan, and she was going to the midnight showing with her friends. She allowed me to tag along, which I am grateful for. Molly promised me that the theater would house a large number of freaks dressing up funny, but I was disappointed on this score. There were only a few people with school ties on, some girls in short gray skirts, and one tall dude in a very big cape. Molly herself had on a dark red and mustard yellow stocking hat and matching scarf, the colors of which I am told are associated with the movie. They look suspiciously like the colors of the Washington Redskins to me.
And Molly drew a lightning bolt on her forehead. And on her friend’s forehead. I didn’t understand why, but I figured it would come up.
As anyone who has been to a midnight premiere can attest to, there was a lot of line waiting involved, both outside the theater and inside. And then we sat through hours of commercials and coming attractions before the movie. But once the movie finally began, I found myself surprisingly entertained and compelled. I liked the action, and took the fact that I had no idea what the hell certain things meant in stride. Stuff flew around and blew up in a thrilling fashion, and in between goals, I always felt as if I understood what people were after. It seemed epic, which was no doubt the intention.
I did, however, think it got sappy and overwrought on occasion. I think I said “oh come on” out loud during one scene when Harry was assured that his departed peeps are “in here.” In his heart. They never left. Awww!
But other than these few moments, I was present and enjoying myself. I still don’t know the characters’ names very well: there’s Harry, the other kid, the girl, the bad guy with no nose, the blonde girl, the girl who likes Harry, the tall kid, Alan Rickman…you take my point. And I have to confess that I started thinking of “horcruxes” as pieces of Triforce that Link has to collect in The Legend of Zelda. Can’t defeat Gannon without finding all the Triforce!
None of that matters. What matters is people like Molly were clapping at lines during this film, and then crying as well. Actually crying! People all around me were sniffling at outcomes they knew were coming. I didn’t feel the same, obviously, but I thought I got a glimpse of why this matters to so many people, and I didn’t have that before.
Like I said, you’ll need to read other reviews for comments on how plotlines were adhered to, or the filmmakers’ vision vs. the author’s, or any of that. All I can say is that from my vantage point, this was obviously a successful sequel, one that made its fans very happy. As for me, I had a good time as well, and I’m glad I went. Maybe I will take the plunge and read the books sometime. And maybe I will fall in love, as all of those people tonight did at some point. I’m not adverse to love.
Next time on Sequel City: a different movie! Adios!