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Jackie K. Cooper

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: Half the Book, Half the Entertainment

Posted: 11/24/10 01:33 PM ET

By now we have been through seven Harry Potter books and seven Harry Potter movies. There is an eighth movie still to come. This movie franchise is reportedly the most successful ever made. So it stands to reason that the new movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One will be a huge success. Not so fast there, Bucko. Harry Potter saturation might finally have been achieved.

In this latest movie version of the young wizard's escapades the weight of the story is on the backs of Harry, Hermione and Ron (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint). These three young stars have not yet developed the charisma or acting talent to support such a heavy load. They make a valiant effort but the movie bogs down about half way through and never recovers, and it is mainly because these three can't give the film any energy.

The difficult-to-follow plot has everybody trying to keep Harry safe. They steer clear of Hogwarts and finally head to the outlands. There it is just Harry, Hermione and Ron trying to figure everything out. Harry knows Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) wants to kill him and he is determined he will not go down without a heroic fight.

Ron is pining away for Hermione and getting jealous of her and Harry's relationship. That puts a strain on the threesome's close bond, and if they ever needed to be close it is now. But then everything in this "first half" is a setup for something that might and probably will happen in the final chapter. You get the string of Ron's jealousy left hanging, as well as a million others. It is unsatisfying to say the least.

This film is also scarier than the others with slithering snakes running about and people being murdered right and left. You don't want to stand too close to Harry or you might be dispatched quickly. There is a major death just before the first half ends.

The movie is rated PG-13 for mild profanity and violence.

If you are not an expert in all things Harry Potter you might get a bit confused with all the frequent flashbacks. There is also a lot of talk about things that have happened in the past. There is no attempt made by Director David Yates to catch the audience up in any way. You are assumed to know what is happening and go from there.

This Harry movie needs an alive Dumbledore or some more scenes with Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) to spur the interest and the excitement. We get a taste of Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) but his time is much too limited.

If seeing Harry, Hermione and Ron battle danger on their own excites you, then you might get something out of this film. However, for everyone who wants the full cast involved this movie is not one of the best. It tells half the last story and is about half the entertainment the best Harry has been.

I scored Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 a hanging 5 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com