Went to see the newest Harry Potter film yesterday. Yikes, it was bad. I remember sort of liking the last one, even though I can't remember much about it. But this one was long, boring, goofy, and incomprehensible.
NOTE TO MOVIE-MAKERS: A film should not be a supplement to the book upon which it is based. It should be a stand-alone story.
A good percentage of the movie-goers will have read all the books, but for the rest of us, the experience is, how shall we say...less than pleasant.
Case in point: The opening scene of the movie. Three black smoke trails fly over London. Muggles look up in amazed confusion. The three trails fly into a back alley and magic world, nab somebody whose face isn't seen (there's a bag over his/her head), then fly back out, destroy a bridge (killing lots of Muggles), and flying off.
Boy, I can't wait to find out what the hell that was all about, I thought. Seemed like a pretty good opening. Only...it was never explained what the hell it was all about. After the movie was over, I asked my fellow movie-goers, all of whom had read the books. "Oh, those were minions of Valdemort kidnapping the wand-maker. There's some difference between Harry Potter's wand and Valdemort's wand that Valdemort can't figure out, so he wants to interrogate the wand-maker. That doesn't get explained until the last book." WTF? Now there is a scene where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are walking by the wand-maker's shop and they note that he's out of business, but so are 80% of the other businesses, so there's no reason for someone who hasn't read the books to make a connection.
How about this...for brevity and continuity's sake, put that scene in the next Harry Potter movie.
That's just an example from the first scene. It doesn't get much better from there. The movie is filled with lots and lots of silly teen romance stuff...a little of this goes a looooong way.
One of the appeals of Harry Potter is supposedly getting a sense of wonder at seeing things we've never seen. At this point, we've seen quidditch. We've seen floating candles in the cafeteria. We've seen nearly all the tropes there are to see, so the world just seems boring now. The only mythical beast we see this time is a giant spider, and it's dead.
So the movie is basically incomprehensible, full of silly teen romance stuff, and flat and boring.
Spoilers after the gap...
And, what part of the plot that did seem to fit together didn't make any damned sense.
If I were to summarize the main plot of the movie...Draco Malfoy is recruited by the bad guys to assassinate Dumbledore. Why, it's not said. Sure they hate Dumbledore because he's good and they're bad, but why now? Do they think he's getting too close to figuring out how to finally put away Valdemort? If so, that's pretty damned subtle, and this is supposed to be accessible to kids, isn't it?
Anyway, here's their plan, I guess: Get Draco to fix a broken vanishing cabinet in some storeroom of the school. Whether he brought the cabinet or it was already there is unclear. We see him putting in an apple, taking it out with a bite out of it, messing with birds, etc., but it's never clear that he's "fixing" it. Whatever. When it does finally work, it's supposed to be a path from another cabinet outside the school that let's in three of the bad guys. Why? Malfoy is supposed to kill Dumbledore, and if he fails, Snape has taken some super badass oath that he will do it himself. Why do we need all this bullshit with the cabinet? Are the three baddies just there for moral support?
Meanwhile, Harry and Dumbledore figure out that the reason Valdemort is so damned hard to get rid of is because he's divided his soul into 7 parts and hidden them in 7 objects, thereby making him invincible unless they're all destroyed. Okay. Dumbledore waves around a burned diary, which supposedly is one of the 7, and takes Harry to find another one, which they get, but which turns out to be a fake, swapped by some other mysterious figure. So the movie ends with Harry and friends dropping out of school to go look for the rest of these things, though how many are left is never said.
At this point, you could say, "Oh, you're not supposed to analyze the story that much, just enjoy all the cool fantasy stuff." Only, there isn't any.
So I'd tell you to avoid it for the stupid mess it is, but if you're a fan you're going to see it anyway, and the damned thing will still rake in truckloads of money. Sigh.