Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is eight months away. Until then, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be the most anticipated film in that time. Now that Part 1 has set up the grand finale, fans will now have an even more impatient wait for the end. Those who read the book know how it will end, but they are anxious to see if the movie version maintains that power. But Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has other shadows than the book version to contend with.
This weekend’s release of Part 1 generated various reactions from critics. Some were made even more excited for the ending, while others hoped it would redeem the slow pace of the setup. Therefore, nothing less than an all-time classic ending may do next summer.
Yet Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 must also contend with the other grand -and not so grand – finales in movie lore. The most obvious comparison is with the Lord of the Rings finale, as Return of the King capped their trilogy off with multiple Oscars.
Both Potter and Rings are book series’ that turned into movie franchises – which started in the same year. The final battles in Middle Earth wowed the world – in spite of the lengthy epilogues afterwards – and set the bar for the final battles at Hogwarts to do the same.
Other epic endings have set a lower bar for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 to cross. The last two films of The Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean and Back To The Future trilogies were mostly panned, while Return of the Jedi was the weak leak of the original Star Wars saga – and set the tone for worse to come.
In addition, The Godfather: Part III is regarded as an ugly asterisk to that legendary series. Meanwhile, other series’ that promise to end often stretch out into a few more movies, especially in horror. As for television, it is littered with anticlimactic, divisive final episodes, like with The Sopranos and Lost.
Just this year, however, a movie series came to a glorious end with Toy Story 3. Yet Pixar works on a different level than most of Hollywood, so they are on a different curve. But Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is ending differently than all these others, since it is an ending split in two.
The final film or episode of a series often determines its lasting legacy, no matter what came before. The start of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left things up in the air, but Part 2 will definitively settle things – in some shape or form.
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