I start this review by stating that I watching this movie with D-BOX. You can learn more about it here:
Basically, it's like watching a movie on a roller coaster, where the seats will rumble and move with the action on screen. Actually, it's probably more like being on Star Tours. I thought it really worked in the scenes they used it in. It wasn't constant through the movie, so you aren't just getting thrown around the entire time. There was a part of the movie towards the end where I have to say I almost felt asleep, only to be awoken by the D-BOX, so I have to say that it helped me keep me in the movie. You pay an extra $8 for the D-BOX ticket, but you get a reserved seat. I thought it was fun and recommend checking it out.
Anyway, back to the movie. I did like Harry Potter. This is a pretty good conclusion to the series and story. It makes up for the action that was missing from Part 1, which I liked to call Harry Potter and the Boring-Ass Camping Trip. Part 2 doesn't waste much time getting to the action, which I liked. I didn't feel like there was a ton of story here, as most of the build up was in the Part I. As a result, this movie had more a thrill ride feel to me. It was definitely more entertaining.
However, I did have a few problems. The climax seemed a little too easy. The final fight between Harry and Voldemort just didn't seem all that epic. In fact, it felt like just a replay of their fight from The Goblet of Fire. I was a little disappointed in that.
At one point during the main battle, there was a bit of a deus ex machina to me. Maybe this was more of a cop out than a pure deus ex machina, but there was a point at the climax that made me go, "Where'd that come from?"
While they seemed to make a point to give a villain a good death, they didn't have the same respect for some of the heroes. You don't even see them die on-screen. This started in Part 1 with Mad-Eye Moody. They just causally mention he's dead and you're just like, "Okay. That just happened. We don't get to see it, I guess. That's kind of BS."
Then, in Part 2, there's two more significant deaths that also happen off-screen and you just see them lying dead on the ground after. What the hell?! I really don't like it when movies treat their side characters as fodder. These were important characters that had been in previous movies and you give them deaths that carry no emotional weight or impact. This is one of the things that bugged me about the Transformers movies.
I will say that I've never read a Harry Potter book. I'm suspecting that some of details and emotional weight of the events are explained better there than on-screen. I'm hoping that we get a director's cut that maybe explains this stuff a little better. Therein lies a problem I have with movies based off books; if you're requiring your audience to get details about the events on-screen from another source, then you really aren't going a great job of storytelling. I'm not saying this is a bad movie, but I shouldn't have to read a book to get more details about what happens in the movie. It's the whole 'show me, don't just tell me' thing.
On another note, what the hell happened to Neville Longbottom? All of a sudden, he's turned into a young Clive Owen. Seriously, talk about a awkward looking kid growing into a man. I find it kind of funny that this guy may end up being the guy that might have more of a film career as an adult.
Look, if you're a Potter fan, there's nothing I'm going to say that's going to stop you from seeing this. You probably already have by now.
If you're a casual fan, or not a book reader, save this for a matinee or rental (especially if they come out with a director's cut). If you have an opportunity to see it in D-BOX, I would recommend checking that out, but the cost might not be worth it if you're just a casual fan.