The opening act to the grand finale of the Harry Potter franchise, this penultimate stop gap movie is beautifully filmed with equal parts of terrific horror and horrific boredom.
The most impressive thing about the entire franchise is that they've been able to keep the cast pretty much intact; not an easy feat, considering that this series has taken 10 years to develop. Granted, Richard Harris passed on mid-series, and for some reason, Maggie Smith's diminishing role as Professor McGonagall simply disappeared partway through. But the franchise, somehow, has been able to keep an all-star cast. From Richard Harris' replacement Michael Gambon, to Alan Rickman, to Helena Bonham Carter, to Robbie Coltraine. And let's not forget He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named... Ralph Fiennes.
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) were nobodies thrown in to superstardom. It's a little sad that this will likely be the most success the three of them will experience. I'm not knocking their acting abilities, but a 10 year jaunt in a single superblockbuster series is hard to beat! But with the franchise, we've all kind of grown up along side with them and personally, I think it's nice that they've been able to do so without getting too big for their britches.
The movie started with a bang and ended leaving you to wonder, which is exactly how this two part finale was meant to be played. But it is beyond me why they had to spend SO much time showing that they were doing absolutely nothing in the middle of a movie that lasts 150 minutes. You'd THINK they'd be able to take some 30 minutes out of the pointless doing nothing lull in the middle.
Aside from that, the entire franchise has been a joy to watch. The Deathly Hallows - Part 1 has generated $787+ million dollars to date. Not very many people are going to watch the 7th installment without first watching the first 6. It's been over 10 years since the first Harry Potter movie came out; the loyal following of this franchise is simply unbelieveable. Definitely a movie to see, and it will definitely leave you waiting for the final installment.