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Review: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2'

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
3 stars
Directed by David Yates
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon
Rated PG-13

How bad would this review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” need to be in order to convince fans to tear up their advance tickets? Conversely, could even the most glowing superlatives drive non-fans to theaters after 10 years of indifference?

Here, then, are the facts. “Part 2,” due in theaters Friday at midnight, closes the final bookboard on a multibillion-dollar franchise. Those sobs you’re hearing are emanating not only from bedrooms everywhere, but from the boardroom of a certain studio in Los Angeles.

The film — which chronicles Harry’s final stand against the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) — begins with the briefest of recaps, but the basics of the plot, in which Harry must find and destroy the evil trinkets called Horcruxes that fuel Voldemort’s power, must be absorbed through osmosis.

There are several unwieldy chunks of exposition that seem almost unnecessary given the target audience.

Likewise, the secrets that are revealed will probably resonate only with those who have spent a decade expecting them, just as the destruction of Harry’s beloved Hogwarts school will horrify only those who fantasized about studying there.

Nevertheless, “Part 2” marks the completion of a singular cinematic achievement. Surely no other film series can boast such a seamlessly visualized world over so many installments. That’s partly because the main “Potter” cast never changed, with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint (as Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, respectively) growing from wobbly prepubescents to confident adults before our eyes.

The film entertains mostly by staying in constant motion. And as you might have guessed, this absolutely, positively final film still allows room to build upon the “Potter” brand.

That’s closure for you.

Rafer Guzmán is a Newsday staff writer.

 

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