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Potter franchise casts a satisfying spell in epic finale

Movie Review
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
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More than a decade in the making and perhaps one of the most anticipated movie events in recent memory, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is finally upon us to see the young wizard off in suitably epic fashion. The second half of the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s final Potter tome plays like a victory lap that touches upon just about everything you’ve come to enjoy from these tales of magical quests. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has set out to destroy the remaining horcruxes, items that contain pieces of Lord Voldemort’s soul, and fulfill his destiny in a final standoff with the evil wizard. As always, aiding him are his loyal friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), who support Harry even if the consequences are dangerous and often deadly. The action sequences come at a rapid fire pace and only let up to catch your breath in a few key moments. All of the heavy lifting was done in “Part 1,” which allows this film to take its time paying off key storylines. Among them is the fate of the oft-ambiguous Professor Severus Snape, played with relish by the always stellar Alan Rickman. The Potter films are a veritable Who’s Who of British acting royalty and Rickman doesn’t disappoint in his crucial scenes of revelation. Director David Yates, having guided this series through four films, has grown adept at keying in on vital moments and trimming excess without losing focus on Harry’s journey. It’s a testament to Radcliffe’s growth as an actor, and the entire young cast for that matter, that these scenes are carried out with the appropriate gravitas that you’d expect from a seasoned thespian. For those thoroughly steeped in Rowling’s wizard lore, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is an incredible achievement. In a town like Hollywood, where magic is created daily, Harry Potter has given audiences something truly wondrous to behold. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer. ---------- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” Directed by David Yates Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint Rating: Five out of five stars