What they’re saying about the new Harry Potter film
Movie critics get knives out for the latest HP cash cow, The Deathly Hallows
While thousands of young fans await eagerly this weekend's release of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the bad news for accompanying adults is that the seventh film in the franchise is a mess – if you listen to the critics.
In a nutshell, Harry (played once again by Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Hermione and Ron (ditto Emma Watson and Rupert Grint) are searching for the magical artifacts called 'horcruxes' needed to defeat Lord Voldemort, who has been restored to full evil power by his devoted followers, the Death Eaters.
The problem, says the majority of critics, is an overcomplicated plot and a lack of any sort of conclusion - you have to wait for Part 2 next summer for that.
On a brighter note, the Potter legacy has again lured an enviable line-up of well-known actors into wizarding robes, with Bill Nighy and Rhys Ifans added to a bill that includes Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Imelda Staunton.
Whatever the critics may say, The Deathly Hallows is expected to be one of the year's biggest movies. According to Movieweb.com, it was expected to take $128.5m in its opening weekend at the box office. And that's just the US.
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:
Nick de Semlyen, Empire: "What should feel fresh and urgent, a cross-country chase flick, is bogged down for long stretches by a curse of Excrucius Overplottio. JK Rowling had the luxury of hundreds of pages to explain it all; delivered as movie exposition, it makes you yearn for the chuck-a-ring-in-a-volcano simplicity of The Lord Of The Rings." (3/5 stars)
Xan Brooks, the Guardian: "Deathly Hallows looks great, in the way that a show home looks great. Director David Yates has arranged the furniture to perfection. He has laid on the fireworks and filled the interior with a rich array of celebrity guests, so that the likes of Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Imelda Staunton and Helena Bonham Carter flit between the scenes with the satisfied air of jobbing actors who have been offered walk-on roles at the world's most expensive fancy dress ball." (2/5 stars)
Tom Huddlestone, Time Out: "A film with no beginning and no end but a whole lot of expository middle, this is the least satisfying instalment in the series since Chris Columbus folded up his director's chair."
Todd McCarthy, the Hollywood Reporter: "More than even the most faithful of the earlier episodes, this film feels devoted above all to reproducing the novel on screen as closely as possible, an impulse that drags it toward ponderousness at times and rather sorely tests the abilities of the young actors to hold the screen entirely on their own."
Justin Chang, Variety: "Director David Yates spins the series' most expansive, structurally free-form chapter yet - lumbering and gripping by turns, and suffused with a profound sense of solitude and loss."
Anita Singh, the Daily Telegraph: "Without doubt, this is the scariest Potter film so far. There are moments when even adult film-goers will be watching through their fingers." (4/5 stars)
Dave Golder, SFX: "Deathly Hallows: Part One was often described in prepublicity as Harry Potter – the road movie. But road movies usually have a destination of some sort, whereas Hallows often just seems to going round in ever-decreasing circles, chasing its own fairytale."
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