Welcome to part eight of our seven part Harry Potter retrospective. Hey, if it’s good enough for the series it’s good enough for the retro, okay? And just as an early heads up, this post may contain spoilers.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Release: 2011

Director: David Yates

Budget: $250 Million (Shared with Part One)

Gross: $481 Million (Opening Weekend Gross)

After month’s in hiding and plotting the demise of Voldemort, Harry, Ron and Hermione head back to Hogwarts to destroy the last of the dark lord’s Horcruxes, fight the good fight and wrap this multi-billionaire dollar franchise up once and for all.

And that’s about it for plot.

But plot isn’t what “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is about. It’s about giving the fans what they’ve waited ten years for. It’s about Harry fulfilling his destiny. It’s about closure. But more importantly, it’s about Ron and Hermione finally kissing.

As the film is less than a week old at the time of writing, I’m not giving it the same treatment as previous posts and I most definitely am not reviewing it; there’s three fantastic reviews of the film on the site which you should definitely read if you haven’t already.

David Yates, who aside from Harry is the true hero of the series, has done a cracking job of finishing off the series in the best possible fashion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Yates has added some much needed realism to the series and has turned them into proper film. Throughout the series, Yates’ confidence as a director has come on in leaps and bounds and “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is the work of a director who has found his feet and no doubt has great things ahead of him.

“Deathly Hallows: Part 2” has the job of wrapping up the series with the “Battle for Hogwarts”, which ends in the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort in the school’s courtyard. Whilst it does this in fantastic fashion it does an equally good job of reminding us of past films, and it’s this that makes the film feel special. A good example is the Cornish Pixies from “Chamber of Secrets” making an appearance in the Room of Requirement; nothing is lost by their absence, but their inclusion shows the extra mile the filmmakers have gone with this final film.

However, there is a more obvious retrospective in the form of the “Redemption of Snape”. As a means of pleading for forgiveness, Harry’s 2nd worst enemy gives the boy wizard his memories in the hopes he won’t think he’s a complete and utter bastard. When placed in the Pensieve, we see a montage of clips from previous films and newly shot footage that not only fills us in a one of the most debated elements of the story, but also shows just how far the series has come, both in terms of tone and quality. Like the “Tale of the Three Brothers” before it, the “Redemption of Snape” is a sequence viewers won’t forget.

Acting has never been the talking point of any Harry Potter film, unless it’s negative. I’m a firm believer that the majority of the younger cast are very good and the older cast do the best with what they have. That said, “Deathly Hallows: Part Two” is the best acted Harry Potter film there is. It’s nice to finally see the old birds of British cinema, Maggie Smith and Julie Walters, do something different with their roles, Michael Gambon’s take on a worry free “Dumbledore The White” was a pleasure to behold and Warwick Davis wows as Griphook. Radcliffe, Grint and Watson have definitely matured throughout the series and it’ll be intriguing to see which directions their careers go in. However, Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom deserves a mighty shout; his transition from comic relief to resistance leader has been both a convincing and fun journey to watch. That said, I’m pleased to announce that the winner of acting for Harry Potter is, drum roll please, Alan Rickman; watch “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and then the rest of the series and you’ll see what I mean.

As fantastic as the film was and the series has been, it’s definitely not without it’s bad points. As with “Deathly Hallows: Part One” there are a few off screen deaths for key members of the Order of the Phoenix. There’s a lot going on throughout the entire film, but I feel that not giving a couple of seconds to see Fred Weasley, Remus and Tonks die onscreen is a bit of an injustice to the fans. And would it have been too much to see Hagrid kicking arse? The final scene of the film also seems to be causing much debate amongst fans.

Despite these faults, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is the perfect way to end the franchise and is arguably the best film of the lot. It flows like a dream, the action is relentless and it’s almost certainly a contender for blockbuster of the year and having spanned four directors, eight films over ten years and raking in a massive $7 Billion (and counting) the series has become the “Star Wars” of the 21st Century.