28 November 2010

Thoughts On: Harry Potter (1/2 of) 7

During the first half of Deathly Hallows Part One, the Harry Potter franchise was in full swing again, all wands blazing.  But the second half of Part One is nonsensical and needlessly stretched, like transvestite underwear.

Overall: not bad--a lot better than the last one, which I didn't get into at all, and I'm looking forward to the conclusion--but for me this Harry Potter stuff is coming off a little bit like emotional torture porn.  Instead of severed limbs and exposed viscera getting explored in repetitive, graphic detail, it's adolescent angst and head-scratching melodramatics.   Frankly, not all this raw nerve hysteria is convincing and even less of it is compelling. 

At the start of the movie, Hermione Granger is seen, heartbroken, erasing her existence from the muggle world and her parents' memories to protect her parents from Voldermort's inquisitional forces.


Then she becomes a zombie... how cool would that be?
Zombies make EVERYTHING boss!
 
This was an example of a rare,  great character moment, even if I was left wondering why she waited until the start of this movie to get around to it, when the bad guys were blazing guns for her and her friends as far back as a movie and half ago.

But this sort of believable, understated moment is replaced later by a lot of yelling and head-butting between the spotty but lean-limbed trio of main characters.  The denseness and ill-timing of this in-fighting and navel-gazing would seem to indicate that Harry, Ron and Hermione have all been zapped by the dreaded "blunt force trauma to the judgment center of the brain" curse.

I really get impatient with these parts of the Harry Potter films because there've been so darn many of them by now and none of them feel true, and they lessen my attachment to the characters.  Not to mention, all the fooferall is clearly just to kill time, to provide dramatic beats between clue discoveries and story revelations. 

If actual story bits had been inserted between Harry's snail-pace sleuthing... well,  those story bits would have to include Voldermort and his emo gang of menopausal bad-asses killing everyone and going elf-bowling.  The after-party would be long over by now.  Helena Bonham Carter would be waking up with goblin-vomit in her extensions.

And speaking of all the Harry Potter sleuthing, I'm going to go out on a limb and declare my certainty that nobody but the most  rabid fans can put all the past wizarding fooferall into somekind of discernable shape.  I read the books, or rather I had Stephen Fry read them to me a couple years ago, and I still couldn't follow or care about  the revelatory clues in this flick.  Something to do with Whizzlebug the Whidsnatcher and Dumbledore's bisexual third cousin, Finnicky Jim.

Honestly, I think the average viewer had a better idea of how Inception unfolded than what's going on with all this long-forgotten Wizarding footsie.

Oh yeah, now the wizards just shoot at each other with their wands without so much as a grunt of a spell anymore.  Frankly, the next side to just bring a fully-loaded Glock, wins.   But zap! pow! it was pretty fun.

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