Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.
Welcome back to Year 7 of Harry Potter and the penultimate episode of this first season of Reeltime.
And we’re in with another cold open.
“Your Ministry remains strong and stable!”
Continuing the theme of the early films, Mr Dursley just wants to protect his family.
Yikes, Hermione erasing herself from her parents’ memory must be difficult but did they consent? Pretty invasive even if it is for their own protection.
This group seems about as tedious as SPECTRE in the last Bond film.
Voldemort has to be the one to kill Harry? Is this just for prophecy purposes? Or because the audience wouldn’t be happy with any other outcome? Or is it the only way Voldemort can become a Real Boy?
I miss when Lucius had a spine…
Still trying to work out what Snape’s angle here is.
Woo, Clemence Poesy is back!
Magical ginger highlights are on point.
Oh god, what are they doing to her?! This is awful…
Argh, there’s a dozen of him – now all the cool characters have turned into the most tedious one…
Haven’t they seen The Matrix: Reloaded? Never on the Freeway!
Did they not come up with a safeword? You’d think enough of this lot are into S&M…
Early bodycount? No, still alive…
…oh, we’ll go with an offscreen death for Mad-Eye instead?!
It would have been nice to see how a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher gets taken down.
Since when is Ron the voice of reason? You may be the Chosen One but you’re still an idiot.
“To kill the other Horcruxes we have to find them.” Now that’s more like the stating-the-obvious Ron we know and tolerate.
Is anyone buying into this relationship?
Wizarding Events Infrastructure is clearly a lot more straightforward.
Did Dumbledore’s Will only address Harry, Ron and Hermione?! He had nothing else he wanted to leave to his colleagues and friends of decades?!
Oh good, she’s recovered.
Wedding Luna is fun.
Luna is startlingly perceptive when placed next to her dad and Harry.
Harry really knows nothing about Dumbledore. Which makes the will seem even weirder.
I was never good at the end of weddings either.
At this point wands are just guns, aren’t they?
So the wand twinning thing actually had nothing to do with his inability to hurt Harry?
The train ride surroundings continue to grow.
Neville’s levelled up again!
Oh yes: nothing to hide, nothing to fear. That always inspires confidence.
Were people really pining for Dobby’s return? He always struck me as the Jar-Jar of the Wizarding World.
Ooh, we’ve morphed into a heist film.
Flushing yourself into Ministry is pretty disgusting. Is this a satirical comment on the nature of bureaucracy?
Well that was remarkably easy…
The subtle approach to sneaking past… before anyone even knows there is an intrusion.
“Accio locket.” Seriously?
I’m not a fan of the artificial time restriction to heighten tension when all it really does is undermine Hermione’s potion-making ability, inexplicably given that we’ve seen her make the same potion competently before.
Accidental infidelity. Awkward.
How are these boys so unfamiliar with a Bag of Holding. They’re both shoo-ins for DnD.
“Where am I supposed to find a tent?” Ron is probably a safe bet.
Ron is right: it is troubling that Dumbledore didn’t bother to explain how to destroy the Horcruxes. But no more than anything else Dumbledore ever did.
“You’re not doing enough!” You know I’m Harry Potter. I can’t actually do anything myself so it’s pretty bloody important that you do it for me.
Oh, good spot on the Horcrux effects, Hermione. I would happily have written that behaviour off as Harry being a narcissistic dolt.
After an action heavy start this has slowed down a lot.
“Actually I’m highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly that which others overlook.” The Gryffindor sword/basilisk venom solution is actually a really well-crafted puzzle. Much better than the early stories.
Ron has definitely been wearing that Horcrux too long. Everyone else has noticed too, right?
The band is breaking up…
Still shipping these two. This is that quiet scene in a war film.
Is Harry making out with a Snitch?
Is this the first time he’s ever been here? Not that I can really judge.
Merry Christmas, kids.
Back where it all started. That house has certainly seen better days. Given the celebrity of Harry Potter, you’d think someone would have bought it / turned it into a museum or attraction…
Harry, that’s lion taming, not snake charming.
This film is mostly magical running away.
And pretty vistas.
“Maybe we should just stay here, Harry. Grow old.” I’m actually okay with that. I presume that for those who ship Harry and Hermione, this is where the books end?
Well this suddenly got very Arthurian. But why would the sword be here, given that Hermione picked the location?
With the ice broken, isn’t accio sword the right way to go? Or was this all just for the need to get Daniel Radcliffe to strip and jump into a freezing lake?
Ouch, that’s definitely not what Ron wants to see… just the rest of us.
“Three to go.” Am I losing count of Horcruxes? They need seven, right?
It’s been weeks? Time dilation is definitely an issue in this film. I’m not getting much of a sense of passage of time.
“Blackthorn. Ten inch.” Subtle.
“I’m always angry with him.” We’ve gone a bit Fellowship of the Ring with all this trekking.
“It’s the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, of course.” Are we going to get a better explanation of this title than the totally unexplained Half-Blood Prince? (Yes, I learned afterwards, but the film did not even try.)
I’m loving the art style for this storytelling sequence.
So are these gifts from Death the three final Horcruxes? One of which is Harry’s cloak.
So he’s obviously keeping them there, luring them for capture, but why? Oh, they’ve taken Luna. Fair enough, really. I doubt she minds though.
“Is there no one we can trust?” Well, given that you barely trust each other, I guess not.
These conveniently timed visions providing the next step are really lazy storytelling.
Not the best disguise…
Unstable evil is always scarier in its unpredictability.
Okay, okay, he’s more useful than Jar-Jar! Glad to see Luna’s staying in one piece.
“Dobby never meant to kill. Dobby only meant to maim or seriously injure.”
Oh he is definitely not surviving this. I’m about to feel really bad for what I said earlier, aren’t I?
And the bodycount rises slowly again.
I’m not sure Luna’s actually helping. Though as I suspected she seems entirely unfazed by being kidnapped and locked up.
Well this is problematic, though I like how the opening scene with him needing a wand played out as the conclusion. Did Dumbledore use the Elder Wand throughout the series then? It seems an alarmingly dangerous artefact, though I guess that’s entirely in keeping with his character.
So they’ve now both swapped out their wands which makes the whole wand picking its wielder thing pretty redundant, as well as the twinned wands issue. I guess we’ll see how the Elder Wand matches up against a 10″ Blackthorn. What it lacks in girth it definitely seems to make up for in power…
Halfway through the final year, and obviously closing in on the final confrontation. I found this film very uneven in pacing – it seemed to be jumping between wildly different types of films, though I suspect this is also somewhat due to it covering only half of the final book.
It was enjoyable, though we have basically ditched the entire school conceit at this point. The stronger focus on fewer characters helped but there wasn’t actually much in the way of meaningful character development this late in the series.
The Malfoy family have gone from being fun antagonists to utterly ineffectual pawns which is a bit of a shame, frankly. I’m not sure it will be particularly rewarding to see their comeuppance or redemption in the next film. I assume Draco turns on his dad at some point to make Snape’s sacrifice of Dumbledore worthwhile.
And yes, I feel guilty for what I said about Dobby. But that’s the fun of Reeltime – I can’t take it back now!
That’s a wrap for Part 1. Join us again soon for the conclusion of the first Reeltime series with Part 2 of The Deathly Hallows. Just three to go. Apparently.