i’m going to review a bit of the movie, and there are going to be major spoilers. so don’t read past the jump if u don’t want to read spoilers.
so this movie has earned wide praise and garnered 88% fresh on rottentomatoes. but i can’t say i agree. it was a 2 1/2 hr long movie w/ 2 hrs of filler material. if u didn’t come to the movie having just reviewed all the material in the order of the phoenix (as i didn’t), then u wouldn’t understand why the plot plays out as it does (as i didn’t). if u know why certain things happened as they did, please enlighten me.
the film’s plot felt like it moved in fits and starts. scenes jumped and events occurred seemingly randomly and never seemed very important. it completely escaped me as to why the death eaters were attacking ppl. why did they attack that wand shop and destroy the pedestrian bridge?
why, especially, did they attack the weasley house out in the countryside? at first it seemed like an effort to draw out potter and kill him, but when reinforcements arrived, they ran and blew up the house. what on earth did that accomplish? they certainly weren’t after killing potter, as we later learn that his life is voldemort’s to take. and they didn’t attack the other ppl at the house when they were separated from each other in the confusion. it was a completely random event. so you’re telling me these uber-baddies got together and risked their lives by raiding a house w/ potter and other strong wizards inside, but their only purpose was to burn some wood?
another thing that bugged me: where was the order of the phoenix in this whole movie? harry produced a squad of elite students trained to battle voldemort and his minions, and they were completely absent in the movie. it’s like the most important development in the last movie didn’t even happen. harry, hermione and ron are still practically alone in taking on the greatest evil wizard of all time except for the addition of ginny, who has somehow become co-captain of the quiddich team?
finally, and this is my strongest criticism of the film, harry ends up looking like a sheep, a weakling and a coward at the conclusion. as potter and dumbledore are seeking out the horcrux in the cave lake, potter is told he must do whatever dumbledore commands w/o question. this of course foreshadows dumbledore asking potter to do something that would ordinarily go against his conscience.
the deed harry is asked to commit is to force dumbledore to drink all of some ghastly potion in order to reveal one of the horcruxes (why didn’t rowling just call it a phylactery btw?) that voldemort stored a shard of his soul in. with each new gulp, dumbledore pleads w/ increasing plaintiveness that he doesn’t want to drink anymore. potter, the empathetic person he is, unfailingly forces the potion down dumbledore’s throat.
this is a fictional version of the milgram experiment where test subjects were told to shock ppl when they answered questions incorrectly and increase the voltage. the subjects in that experiment didn’t know the shocks were fake, and the ppl being shocked were just pretending. 65% of the subjects raised the voltage of the shocks to a possibly lethal 450V even tho some were quivering uncontrollably and others were reduced to tears. the experiment proved that most ppl are sheep and will do what they’re told by an authority figure who in their case was the guy running the experiment.
harry, it turns out, is no different. yes, the evil he was facing was real to him, and yes dumbledore made him promise to do whatever he was told. but that’s a poor excuse to use when he believed himself to be the chosen one. should the chose one not be the one that saves the day? should the chosen one have to resort to an intermediary to buffer him from danger? should not the chosen one make a decision like neo did in the matrix, to sacrifice his own life before the life of his mentor no matter what his mentor said? potter’s membership in the sheeple club is inexcusable as a hero.
so, okay potter’s weak willed. but he’s still strong right? but oh wait. those gollum-like creatures that attacked him and dumbledore in the cave overwhelmed and nearly killed him. those emaciated creatures looked like they’d fall over if they carried anything over a few pounds. but a single one of these things pinned harry’s arms and dragged him down into the depths. it was a miracle that the disoriented and poisoned dumbledore was able to cast a spell causing a conflagration. how can harry, with his powerful magical ability and after all his training for moments just like these, not be able to fend off some peon baddies? at least neo held his own against morpheus by the end of his first fight. harry couldn’t hold a candle against dumbledore judging by this outcome.
finally, at the climax of the movie, dumbledore again tells harry to follow orders. this time, there’s no ambiguity about dumbledore’s situation. he’s a target for assassination and badly outnumbered. if he ever needed backup, now would be the time. and like the hero of a franchise is supposed to do in crucial times, harry swoops in and … does absolutely nothing to save his mentor. that, i think, is the most unforgivable thing i’ve seen a movie hero do. the chosen one stood by and uttered not a word as his father figure was killed. the chosen one. wow, are we going to make movies of all the cowards in life now? would harry have stood by and done nothing if it were his mother facing the execution squad?
and then in his impotent rage, he faced off w/ severus and got his ass kicked while severus essentially yawned. i mean… seriously? we’re supposed to be rooting for this guy?
so anyways, next installment is supposed to have harry & co searching for the remaining horcruxes away from school. i only hope by then he’ll be more of a champion than the chump he was in this movie.