Nowhere Is Safe
Running Time: 146 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Getting a cynical 25 year old male to review the latest Harry Potter is a bit of a strange move. To my mind, there a few options on the table for me. Firstly, I could be a total arse and just rip it out HP7 from my own twisted viewpoint. But what will that achieve? Secondly, I could steal a group of children to do the work for me. Unfortunately, kiddie-stealing isn’t as easy as it was in Pinocchio’s day and Madonna isn’t answering my calls. Finally, I could just put my grown-up hat on and try and review it objectively. After all I did tragically look like the geeky little wizard throughout most of my adolescent years, so at least I can have some empathy with Harry (Radcliffe). Here goes.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I follows Harry, Hermione (Watson) and Ron (Grint) as they embark on an off-campus adventure to find evil wizard Voldermort’s (Fiennes) remaining Horcruxes (dark magical objects used to attain immortality) and thus relinquish the Dark Lord of his power. As with pretty much every Harry Potter film so far, this on has been labelled ‘the darkest yet’ and I suppose on this occasion that might be a viable claim. However, the action really does drag in this instalment as, to be honest, the storyline is pretty dull and just involves our pint-sized heroes camping in a field and squabbling like they’re on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition for much of the time. This lack of plot to propel the film forward bravely puts the three leads and their hardly amazing acting under scrutiny. For the most part, they do okay except that whenever one of them is delivering a speech, the other two invariably stand around looking very awkward indeed. Out of the well known British cast it is Helena Bonham-Carter and Bill Nighy that do themselves the most justice.
Definitely not the best Harry Potter film (yes, I have seen them all) but it nicely sets the stall up for the last hurrah. The key word here being ‘last’. Hurrah.
It's Got: Decent special effects, a prestigious British cast as usual, lots of tent-based action
It Needs: To be less dawdling, possibly cut down to just one film?
Alternatives:Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
A dawdling story, acting that won’t blow you away and a runtime that far outstays its welcome still don’t detract enough from HP7’s good points to make it fun for all the family (except Dads, Uncles, Grandads etc.)