Harry Potter and the deathly hallows: part 1

The Harry Potter stories have felt so crunched together in films as of late that it’s a relief to see that the last book is getting the chance to breathe in a two-film format. But “Deathly Hallows Part 1,” for the most part, is a slog. There is more sadness and terror this time around, the wonderment of Hogwarts and Quidditch have been replaced with dark forests and deathly, menacing wand play. There’s also a lot more explanations and things to ruminate over, yet for all the talk, not a lot happens.

This time the death of many of Harry’s friends and the Ministry of Magic being taken over by the Death Eaters encourages Hary (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) on a quest to find and destroy the horcruxes, which are storing parts of the soul of the dark lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Voldemort, when not sending minions after Harry, is in search of the Deathly Hallows, a trifecta of dangerous tools to help him defeat Harry.

Hallows is gloomy stuff that gets ever sadder as things move along. There are some scattered thrills, scattered laughs, but mostly just an uninteresting story about finding horcruxes. There’s in-fighting amongst the three heroes too but at this point we know it’s not serious. Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson are solid and look like they can’t wait to let lose, as their characters deal with their fears and destinies, but here it’s the CGI elf Dobby who gets all the best moments. The last forty-five minutes do a pretty good job of whetting our appetite for movie number two but it doesn’t change the fact that part one just feels like a mild appetizer before the feast.

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