Reviewed Jul 31, 2012
This film has a quality artistic look, but is the first Harry Potter film to be a little boring.
It was supposed to be their last year at Hogwarts, but due to Voldemort's rising power and the danger they are involved in, Harry and his friends are unable to attend. They set out on a journey to find and destroy the Horcruxes: the secret to Voldemort's power.
As I mentioned, this film has a great look. The cinematography, lighting and visual effects are really good, which produces a very rich quality appearance. However, I'm not the only one to say that this is one of the worst films in the series. Quite likely the result of splitting the book in two parts, this film feels very incomplete. This might be a good first (or even first and second) act, but the lack of a climactic conclusion makes the film feel drawn out and weak. The characters do go through a wide range of emotions (a lot of desperation) which spices things up here and there, but by the end of the film they haven't really changed. There aren't a lot of crucial story points in this film, but it contains a lot of information that prepares you for the conclusion of the series. Though the film overall is quite clean, the "sensual" part of the rating is earned in a false, mystical vision that contains some brief passionate kissing.
The film's title is about the best description of the film that can be given. It's only part 1: the introduction to the real depth of the story.
Despite its mediocrity, it does continue the story, albeit a little slowly, and contains a few good scenes. I don't care much for dance sequences generally, they're usually almost pointless, time-consuming and just unnecessary. The "O Children" dance in the middle of this film is one of my favorite scenes, it's unique and is used very well in a somewhat depressing time in the story. Another of my favorite scenes was deleted: I thought the exchange between Harry and Dudley would have been a great addition to the film.
Though disappointing, this film is OK as an introduction to the finale, and it does have its moments of comedy, suspense and engagement. It simply lacks a story of its own.
For more of my thoughts on Harry Potter and magic, check out my overview of the complete series.