Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

Warning: Spoilers Ahead • Screened at Harkins • 3rd Viewing

Neville Longbottom’s kill count in this is psychotic, but hey, he is the true hero of this story. 

To me, this is… kind of… the Avengers: Endgame (2019) of the Harry Potter franchise. It is exceedingly safe, howbeit conventionally satisfying in that clean space of a happy ending conclusion, but a bit obstructed by it being the last one of an 8-part franchise, convincing itself that it needs to hit so many checkmarks scene by scene just to quickly please dedicators with almost fanfic-ish moments, and that personally doesn’t invest me or win my heart as much as how some of the other Harry Potter films have.

Intentionally, this movie seems to undermine death, which makes sense in context with the piling tragedy that’s been building in this series since Year 4, even stating to pity the living and not the dead which strings back to the concept of saving lives by saving experience — i.e. killing The Dark Lord who’ll hinder experience in spite of those who’ll have to die in order to achieve that. It’s a bit off-putting in how self-aware it can be, but works as a memorable motif to give the film a bit of substance and weight in light of it being just a fairly large battle movie. I forgot too how Rowling works off of the story of Christ in this entry with Harry being written as someone who’s destined to die for the saving of his people but only then for him to come back. That dream sequence where he ends up in a sort of purgatory with Dumbledore is one of the trippiest and wickedest sequences I’ve ever seen in a mainstream American blockbuster; this is one of the few creative risks that the movie actually takes and it benefits the quality of the finale for me. 

Deathly Hallows Part 2 seems to be the Harry Potter movie that has connected the most with audiences alongside Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and I think a lot of that has to do with the sheer amount of fan service and payoff in it. Almost every bit of drama in this movie is so deliberately plotted and conveniently timed to have an idealistic redemption arc to it, which honestly takes me out of the movie sometimes. Although, to be fair, my entire qualm with this franchise has always been how the narrative writing has never been that thought-out or regimented, so this flaw isn’t something that now magically found a place in the franchise, as it’s been going on forever but just not to this extent. I do still love the scene though where we peek into Snape’s backstory, even if everything leading to that moment was plotted out so clumsily; I mean, he is my favorite character in this franchise, and his timely recognition actually felt warranted for the conclusion of this war. Overall, however, this eighth and final entry in the saga is probably now my least favorite Harry Potter movie of the ones I’d consider at least “fresh”, but… nonetheless, it is still fresh; it hit the bare minimum for me just by a hair! Tonal consistency really does it with skewing my opinions towards good or bad I must say!

So! A recap of my rewatch of a franchise I was obsessed with as a kid: it seems as if my ranking of it has changed drastically — minus my #1 spot, of course. When I was a kid, however, 1, 2, and 4 were usually the top dogs, but when I was a teen, it was rather 1, 3, and 8. My current ranking though seems to be (from best to worst) 3, 1, 5, 2, 7, 8, 6, and then 4. I have no clue if nostalgia is influencing some of my decisions here or if its because I just find the themes of 1 and 2 to be better fitted in the light-hearted entries that are targeted more towards kids rather than when they’re put into the darker entries targeted at young adults; I mean, 8 and 4 were once highly regarded by me until this revisit. The biggest outlier in this new ranking though would be Order of the Phoenix (2007) which I have virtually no nostalgia for and have always thought of to be one of the weaker entries until just recently. In all fairness nonetheless, the quality of these movies are still pretty neck and neck, so the radical reshaping of my order isn’t too surprising. Conclusively, I’d say that Harry Potter is just a decent franchise, with an unusually great one living in the mix, and two “meh” ones as well, but ultimately it maintains consistent quality impressively. It may not be as grand as I remembered it to be, but I still like it. 

Verdict: B-

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“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is now available to stream on HBO Max.

Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

Screened at Harkins • 3rd Viewing

The first act of Deathly Hallows Part 1 has maybe the best momentum in this franchise since Prisoner of Azkaban. David Yates’s action sequences here feel nearly as fresh as they did in Order of the Phoenix, although not nearly as visually gaudy as them, but rather so conditioning themselves into a more murky and Jason Bourne-esc aesthetic in hindsight of the grittier tone. Very early on, the story also brings back the Nazi regime allegory that has now become far more present in this franchise than ever before with the Mudblood racism being the crux of propaganda in Voldemort’s army. 

As the movie progresses, however, I think it gets weaker and weaker, but not enough so for it to be anti-entertaining cause boy does it surpass Half-Blood Prince in those regards, but just in its sudden change of pace and furthermore its rushed finale. This to me is the most contrasting Harry Potter movie from all of the other ones; it features that classic “finding happiness through distraction during times of crisis” theme going on, which gives it a lot more breathability and space compared to the other Harry Potter entries, yet this utter tone of hopelessness too for what these young people have to do in order to be okay with the situation at hand as they become obsessed with the names of the deceased that are constantly listed off as they hide from this outside bloodshed blanked from their vision. The narrative also essentially forces Harry to trace back his entire life beforehand in connection with Voldemort, as if this first parter was meant to be some sort of recap anticipator for the finale that is Part 2. The lack of having a mentor is felt well in this movie not to mention too, and the use of Harry’s shattered mirror constantly relays this. The exposition dump of the Tale of the Three Brothers has always been a personal favorite segment of mine because of its charming animated book-tale qualities and how it ultimately provokes itself into the modern narrative of the war at hand.

There is another trend though that I’ve begun to pick up on since Year 4, being that almost every one of these movies has to end with someone dying quite dramatically, and I feel like the final death in this one was a bit of a tacked-on service to add more emotional tragedy to the film’s drama; the plot conveniences get super noticeable too during this climax, as well, which doesn’t help it feel any less last-minute than it already does. Deathly Hallows Part 1 may have the least complex plot out of all the films to me, and I think that’s sort of why it has been a win or lose situation for most hardcore fans of the franchise. Nonetheless, I personally think it is one of the better movies of the darker entries, but I do think it’s exhilarating first act sort of sets the rest of the film up for a moody subversion that’s likely not going to resonate with some audiences. I can’t help but kind of appreciate it though. 

Verdict: B-

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“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” is now available to stream on HBO Max.

Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Screened at Harkins • ??? Viewing • Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Congrats to Romilda Vane for landing herself a spot on the Wizarding World’s FBI watchlist. 

It’s been nearly a YEAR since I got cucked from my in-cinemas Harry Potter marathon due to COVID-19 restrictions in the area, but alas, I’ve returned! The sixth year at Hogwarts somewhat revolves once again around Harry trying to find ways to figure out another mystery, one that, howbeit, doesn’t lead him to any profound revelation; the movie decides to keep him in the dark just for now to heighten the tension for its sequels. In terms of character development, he seems to have a new sense of pride and acceptance for his destiny. During so, he is also mildly alerted of his prejudice/bias mindset that the movie then sets up for him to have shattered in Part 2 of Deathly Hallows. I feel pretty confident in claiming that Half-Blood Prince is by far the most comedic and romantic Harry Potter movie thus far. Ultimately, it’s a blessing and a curse, granting us mildly amusing YA love triangles and friendship quarrels to chortle at that are further elevated by some quirky character gesturing, dispatching the overall film with a more sitcom-esc finish than its previous entries. However, this paramount of light-hearted tone fatally suppresses the drama of the film, maybe not to the extent though of it being as bizarrely balanced in tone as Mike Newell’s Goblet of Fire (2005), but it still remains roughly organized sequentially with its structure nonetheless. 

One could easily make the case that this movie was covertly Draco and Tom’s all along, with Tom’s backstory being placed as consummation for Harry’s shortage of personal journey, although, all this movie really does is convince me further of Voldemort’s tediously innate evil as if he were just some less justifiable Darth Vader, which makes him, again, not that interesting of a villain to me still. Draco, on the other hand, is just so underutilized in this; I guess him being a victim hidden in the shadows of circumstance is the point of his minimalist exploration, but him literally having to explain his situation quickly for us in dialogue during the climax indicates perfectly to me that even the screenwriters themselves didn’t think they gave the audience enough weight for us to empathize honestly with his struggle, one that could’ve been executed to a far more awakening and intense degree.

This is also one of the slowest films in the franchise due to its damning issues of inserting serious drama aimlessly in the midst of its spasmodic plot; some of the most awe-striking sequences in this franchise lie within Half-Blood Prince like when Harry and Dumbledore visit The Dark Lake, yet they are crowded into this tonally inconsistent timeline of prominently innocent affairs. And, I know that most of the Harry Potter movies pride themselves on having some sort of a plot twist in their climaxes, but I find the whole “I am the Half-Blood Prince” reveal in this one to be particularly pathetic as if its primary reason for existing was literally just to stick to the franchise’s tradition; the relevancy of that notebook’s content to Snape’s nickname of background does nothing for me in the moment of this actual movie, and even barely enough so to work as some metaphorical foreshadow of what we learn about Snape in Part 2 of Deathly Hallows — i.e. he was helping Harry this entire time and he’s an undercover hero marked evil. Frankly, I think the reason why this sixth entry decided to feature so much comedy and romance at the forefront of it is because it needed something to compensate or justify itself as something that works on its own rights singularly, considering an unfortunate majority of its themes are only here as set-up to be completed in the two following sequels, which ultimately damaged the film’s entertainment value for me.

Verdict: C+

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“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is now available to stream on HBO Max.

Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Screened at Cinépolis; ??? Viewing

Noticeably more dilated than its underwhelming predecessor, the fifth year of cinema’s detour into Hogwarts smartly chooses to utilize a majority of its runtime to progress the soon-to-be war against good and evil, despite how flagrant it can get at times with its constant emotional efforts. Order of the Phoenix features keen undertones of how archetypal religious organizations implemented abusive methods to achieve order and even comments on the basics of political corruption. Using this background, the movie sets forth a classic coming-of-age, rebellion narrative where the students must learn to collectively flourish despite circumstances surrounding the newly manipulated school-grounds, all while The Dark Lord is at large, hiding his existence amongst the frightened Ministry of Magic.

The focal point of Year 5 whirls itself into a deeper dive at Harry Potter’s feelings of being cut off from those who surround him as serious affairs begin to spiral closer and closer to the foregrounds of the narrative; that moment where he bursts into anger at Dumbledore is genuinely one of my favorite acting bits from Radcliffe in this entire franchise and is a prime example of exactly what I’m talking about. Harry’s decisions are beginning to furthermore feel more consequential in this entry than in the previous outings; an awareness has been wistfully given to Potter as he begins to realize that those closest to him are now at the risk of fatality because of his connection with Voldemort. 

Not only does Potter get the sufficient arc treatment, however, even Sirius Black and a tad bit of Snape and Neville Longbottom get developed to remarkable extents. And, of course, an Order of the Phoenix review can’t not include a shoutout to Imelda Staunton who is soooooo good as the notorious Dolores Umbridge — she is imposing in every scene she gets, particularly, the unnerving “I must not tell lies” punishment. David Yates is certainly an improvement over Mike Newell in the leadership chair, and it’s no secret that he develops qualitatively as he steadily becomes the trademark director for this series, but I don’t think his talent had come full circle yet in Order of the Phoenix; a lot of the eccentric editing seems to be doing the work for him here. 

Ultimately, the explosive finale of this installment that’s decorated with eye-absorbing set pieces and creative action spectacles does somewhat pay off given the steady build-up set beforehand, even as cheesy as it is overall with what it attempts thematically — especially considering I still don’t truly grasp the psychology of Voledmort’s character and history with his peers; we’re already at the fifth movie in this saga and I don’t understand how the filmmakers expected the cringy “you‘ll never know friendship or love” line to actually hit in an effective way when us as the audience still doesn’t know who The Dark Lord is to that intimate of a degree.

These drawbacks aren’t too serious, however. The overall contribution of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is one that enhances the story forward at a recognizably grand size while furthermore slapping this franchise back on track, so, I approve of it! 

Verdict: B-

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“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is now playing in select theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Screened at Cinépolis • ??? Viewing • Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Welp, I take back my claim that there “isn’t even one dud in the OG eight-part Harry Potter series.”

From a disoriented script with downgraded dialogue, unusually over-the-top acting direction for some unusually non-over-the-top characters that does not concur well especially after Prisoner of Azkaban, sloppy editing/transitioning techniques, the piss-poor and abysmally fused-in comedy, to the barbaric pacing — the narrative here delegates events in such drastically different lengths, making the 157 minute runtime feel rickety as hell — Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire… is a misfire? Goodness gracious, even the green-screening in this movie might just be worse than the first two Harry Potter movies in some cases… yeah. 

These properties that I have just mentioned have greatly caused the root of my problems with this fourth installment. For example, the aggressive dramatic quarrel between Ron Weasley and Harry Potter is so underdeveloped — it nearly craps itself out of thin air. The journey as well as the resolution of it is also cheap and quick, showcasing a weak spot in director Mike Newell’s rash enforcements on Steve Kloves’s writing. There are multiple cases in Year 4 like this where Newell is desperately concerned with creating ordinary teenage conflict that just rarely feels organic or progressed. Newell will throw in an out of place ballroom dance that doesn’t amount to anything by the film’s demise or linger tiresomely on Harry’s crush-life for quiet giggles rather than focus AT LEAST MAINLY on leading itself to that drastically significant finale. Newell inserted in a reoccurring dream sequence and was like, yep, that should do it for the build-up to the RETURN OF THE MAIN VILLAIN OF THIS ENTIRE FRANCHISE. It makes sense that the director who literally claimed to have found The Goblet of Fire book to be too long would find making an incoherent streamline of scenarios to be more entertaining than a maybe lengthy but undoubtedly sensible flow of affairs. 

I remember as a child I loved The Goblet of Fire book and movie solely because of the Triwizard Tournament, yet looking back on the movie’s version of their challenges, they’re honestly not that conceptually logistical — the audience can’t even witness what’s happening in the underwater or maze rounds, so why is anyone excited to watch these events? They also don’t really require a lot of talent as the teachers suggest it to be, as there’s no true wit to them; they’re either straightforward or based on sheer luck. I do, nonetheless, savor the locations of these tournaments such as the mermaid kingdom or hedge maze but the sequences that involve those areas appear immensely derivative and highly elongated to a point where I had myself wondering numerous times: “why does this need to be so long in an already crammed movie?” With a considerable runtime like this, the fleeting minutes should be spent elsewhere, meaning in areas where the side-plot interludes Newell is so desperate to have or possibly the Voldemort storyline should be… you know… developed. 

One of the few genuine elements I did feel gracefully endowed with in The Goblet of Fire, however, was actually Mike Newell’s introduction to Ralph Fiennes’ interpretation of Voldemort which is introduced in a stomach-churning sequence — mostly thanks to Fiennes’ momentary yet incredibly compulsive performance and the exceedingly graphic rebirth of Voldemort. Something I can applaud Newell for is how grisly the execution in a few sequences in the Goblet of Fire are, such as the trial of Karkaroff. The tragedy of Cedric Diggory is also handled phenomenally well; I appreciated how the audience just goes from zero to a hundred once they begin noticing what’s happened to Cedric, bringing a truly haunting impact to the return of Voldemort. It blusters my mind to see how exceptional this finale is; sure, it feels completely out of place given for a near two hours after the film’s introduction Newell was just trying to be painfully funny whenever he could, but I can’t deny that these concluding thirty minutes were something that kept Goblet of Fire from being a complete disaster. 

What a waste of David Tennant though. Now, at least we can all agree — especially fans of the Barty Jr. character from the books or Doctor Who — that that’s an objective sin.

Verdict: C

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“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is now playing in select theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Screened at Cinépolis • ??? Viewing 

Sure, you can keep on mentioning the brilliance of Alfonso Cuarón’s directing in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with his novel POVs, scoping long-takes, or character mimicking camera gestures, but let’s not turn a blind eye to how congenial his capitalization on newly endeavored teenage angst is in this third year at Hogwarts. Harry Potter is absolutely sick to the stomach of his Aunt and Uncle, even going as far as to threaten Vernon Dursley with his wand as he dashes furiously out into the coldness of the night solely so that he can find a way out of the hellhole. 

“I don’t care; anywhere is better than here.” – Harry

Ron and Herminoe’s hostile but subtly flirtatious quarrelling is amped up to comical degrees in Prisoner of Azkaban too, showcasing obviously a growth in hormones. In general, however, it seems as if Cuarón tried his very best to showcase the spontaneous douchiness of these developing teenagers even in the most ordinary of scenes:

“We better take this back.” – Harry

“I’m not going back.” – Ron

“Fine.” – Harry

Not to mention, all of this is complemented by some of the sharpest dialogue this franchise has ever laid ears on.

“Actually, it has nothing to do with the father; it’s all to do with the mother. You see it all the time with dogs: if there’s something wrong with the bitch then there’s something wrong with the pup.” – Aunt Marge

Plus, if this isn’t some of the fastest pacing I’ve ever experienced in a blockbuster before, then I don’t know what is. It’s a bit off-putting at first because we’ve just come from the often sluggish Chamber of Secrets, but once you warm up to the meteoric movement of Prisoner of Azkaban, it truly becomes commendable compared to any other output in the franchise. 

The special effects in Year 3 are shrewdly incorporated more so than any of the other entries in this franchise. The slow-mo/ratio-warping/fast-mo computer graphics in the addictively crafted Knight Bus sequence are done to absolute perfection. Remus Lupin’s “boggart” class lesson may just be the funniest scene in all of the Harry Potter movies thanks to the creepy CGI creatures that they dexterously modify into looking “ridiculous” — or the funniest scene could just be that momentary portion where Harry tells Ron to tell the spiders in his dream that he doesn’t want to tap-dance. I appreciate how the magical map Harry uses throughout the feature-length is incorporated to rev-up an eccentric way of persuading suspense. The gnarly human to creature/vise-versa transformations are epic, as well. The traumatizing design of the life-sucking “dementors” will furthermore live on as a continuous staple in this saga. The character doubling during the time travel moments have aged immaculately, on top of all this too.

John Williams’ best jab at a Harry Potter score happens to be a part of Prisoner of Azkaban as well, so there’s that.

I’m quite determined that the third act of Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite third acts in the history of franchise blockbusters. It’s honestly almost up there with The Empire Strikes Back, The Fellowship of the Ring, Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Judgement Day’s climax/finale. There’s admittedly some conveniences plastered throughout this climax that pull back by enjoyment of it a tad bit and Harry’s sudden love for Sirius feels too sudden, as well. But, what makes this culmination so damn exceptional boils down to how Alsonso Cuarón brilliantly executes the drama of it and furthermore executes the time travel elements that help make this venture appear so grand, blowing other time-manipulative franchise oeuvres such as X-Men: Days of Future Past or Avengers: Endgame completely out of the water. I think it was a genuine benefit that the film pulled a Back to the Future Part II maneuver by allowing us to observe the past or something we’ve already seen before concurring simultaneously with the newer perspectives of the time travelers. 

Gary Oldman is thoroughly incredible as Sirius Black even with the limited amount of screentime he’s given; every performer in general though seems to be giving it their all when it comes to conveying genuine vexation during the finale. The confrontation between Harry Potter, Ron Weasly, Hermione Granger, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Severous Snape still stands to be my favorite sequence in this entire franchise, even if their unrealistically coded dialogue can occasionally take one out; it’s certainly overlookable though thanks to the emotional spiel of neatly visualized reveals that pack quite the gripping punch. This entire phenomenon sort of reminds me as if the Snape vs Quirrell scenario from Sorcerer’s Stone was pulled off more cleverly, as seen in how the narrative discloses the misconception between Sirius Black’s role and Peter Pettigrew’s.

It’s baffling that Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is almost twenty-years-old, yet, it’s totality is so far ahead that even if it came out today, it’d still probably shock the contemporary. There may be five more Harry Potter movies left that I need to rewatch, but I have a pretty confident feeling that they won’t be able to top what Alfonso Cuarón nailed in the third entry of these cinematic adaptations.

Verdict: B+

Harry Potter Ranked

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is now playing in select theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Screened at Cinepolis • ??? Viewing

Yooooo, wtf? Slytherin is an allegory for a white supremacist group? Bro, there goes my entire childhood…

In hindsight, Chamber of Secrets is slightly similar to its predecessor in terms of its story beats. There’s another chamber that Harry Potter must discover in which Voldemort is planning his escape in. Harry also lies to Dumbledore again about his suspicions that nobody else has, is saved by a magical entity in the forbidden forest and faces this mysterious chamber with his friends until he is once again separated from them during its resolution. There’s even a quidditch scene where somebody tampers with the game yet Harry still manages to catch the golden snitch. Howbeit, I think there’s a lot more social comparisons to be made between reality and the Wizarding World than what Sorcerer’s Stone had to offer. Gilderoy Lockhart is an amusing take on celebrity phoniness and foolish fandom praise. Dobby’s character and storyline is a god-tier addition to the series and creates a, however, pretty dark parallel to history’s background with indentured servitude. 

Chamber of Secrets furthermore flourishes though because, even though this one does involve another chamber, the initial build-up to the meaning behind its existence has an intimate background to our main characters, developing more relevance to the actual story between Potter and Voldemort than what Philosopher’s Stone attempted to do. The paralleling between Potter and Riddle exceptionally defeats the wits of simply retrieving a powerful yet meaningless magic stone — howbeit, Philosopher’s Stone does use these supposedly pointless circumstances to provoke Harry into accepting the death of his parents, which is a theme I respected in that first entry. Although, the second half of Chamber of Secrets does admittedly tumble through too many needless loops before it actually gets to its climax — the pacing obviously suffers greatly from this which Sorcerer’s Stone had nailed down with a maturer bite. On the brighter side, the acting has slightly improved in Year 2 but the plot is as expedient, if not, more expedient than Year 1, registering itself with plenty of plot-holes to be served and expositional extravaganzas to be witchcrafted. 

All in all, in spite of its many drawbacks, this continuing venture in the saga is, even so, decent, again! The first two Harry Potter flicks haven’t aged the best in my opinion but they’re still at least ripe in my book! Dumbledore knows though how much more thrilled I am to revisit specifically the next entry in this franchise…

Verdict: B-

Harry Potter Ranked

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is now playing in select theaters.

Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Screened at Cinépolis • ??? Viewing

Yep, my favorite movie as a child until The Dark Knight rolled around, a motion picture that takes initiation to a franchise that I’d go as far as to say is at least the greatest “blockbuster” series ever crafted — and no, I will not count those deadbeat CGI Creatures Galore, Boneless Characters and Where to Something Them movies or whatever the devil they’re called. Imagine: eight movies and not a single dud found during the span of ten years. Wait, scratch that, you don’t need to imagine such a miracle when Warner Bros.’ magical adaptations of J.K. Rowlings’ wizarding world are at the very tips of your HBO Max acc… wait, it looks as if they’ve been removed. Call it off, Hedwig, we’re going to the cinemas. 

It’s time to get real geeky readers, cause you’re about to see me in a form that you thought couldn’t get any more embarrassing after I reviewed every straight-to-DVD Bionicle movie as a grown ass adult. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sets up a universe of lore and a lineup of significant characters while managing to still be a funny, light-hearted journey that has the talent to become grim when it needs to based on the movie’s constant insinuations. This framework, furthermore, allows Year 1 of the saga to not become completely bombarded by world-building, eldritch class sessions or mythical creatures, and makes sure to balance these ingredients out with an actual staple narrative to keep viewers on target. Sure, Harry Potter as an individual arguably starts off as a bit of a Gary Stu — there are indeed fans out here acting like slapping on the “chosen one” label automatically excuses a character from sucking (shoutout to the incel, Phantom Menace cult) — but the character’s tragic background is suitably dilated to a point where the audience has enough room to latch on sentimentally to his presence throughout the runtime. 

Of course, it’s undeniable that the nearly twenty-year-old movie hasn’t aged perfectly in a couple of regions. A lot of the performances, notably from the children, are borderline rubbish — luckily we have Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane to counteract the overall quality of acting here. The special effects are, I suppose, tolerable enough if you can look past the frequently god-awful green-screen or heavily reliant CGI spectacles. The whole Severus Snape vs. Quirinus Quirrell gimmick is pretty outdated in knack. And yeah, the plot as well as the occasionally cutesy drama kind of just decides to arbitrarily work in its favor whenever it feels like it. But, hey! At least John Williams’ brilliant score hasn’t aged a day! 

So all-in-all, even after seeing this movie a kajillion times, it’s still quite decent, especially on the big-screen. At the end of this revisit, however, one thing is indeed for certain: the wizarding world doesn’t have health inspectors — the psychotic amount of examples I can give of this in just the first movie is appalling.

Verdict: B-

Harry Potter Ranked 

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is now playing in select theaters.