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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

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The Harry Potter saga has finally reached its conclusion.  Should you go see the final chapter?
The Harry Potter saga has finally reached its conclusion. Should you go see the final chapter? (Photo: Warner Brothers)

Should you see Harry Potter 7(.5)?

It’s been well documented that the summer movie lineup for 2011 is one of the weakest in recent memory, but one film has stood out as a bastion of hope.

The Harry Potter series wrapped up its book-to-movie adaptations when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" was released this weekend.  Unsurprisingly, it was a smash success, raking in $168.6 million in its opening weekend, toppling "The Dark Knight," at least in revenue.  The question remains, however, if you weren’t part of the craze, is it worth seeing the movie?

The answer, as always, is complicated.

"Harry Potter 7.5" isn’t made for people to catch up to the story.  It’s made for those who have either watched or read their way to this point and are looking for the payoff.  If you don’t know about the characters, or the story itself, you will doubtlessly be lost for the duration of the movie.  The surprises won’t surprise you, and the force behind the maturation of these characters will prove meaningless.

That being said, you don’t need much to be able to stay afloat in the Harry Potter universe.  I haven’t read the books and I’ve been a casual viewer of the movies, but I knew the story enough to be fully engrossed in the action packed finale.

You really don’t need to watch every movie in the series to be well versed enough to enjoy it, I would recommend at least watching the two previous films, however, starting with "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."  In truth, though, it really is worth seeing the entire series.

So, if you haven’t read any of the books or seen any of the movies, the answer has to be, "not yet, but soon."

Assuming you’re relatively caught up to the series, then the answer for whether you should see "Harry Potter 7.5" is a resounding "YES."  The film picks up exactly where "Part One" left us, except it finds another two or three gears and picks up the pace after the slow-moving "Part One."

"Harry Potter 7.5" clocks in at 130 minutes, but those minutes fly by.  The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration as Harry and friends race to weaken the equally evil and creepy Lord Voldemort. 

Ultimately, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" is a satisfying finale for those who have invested so much into this group of characters.  Those who found themselves casually interested will also walk away pleased, and shouldn’t find themselves asking their fanatic friends too many questions when the lights come back on.

As if you needed a final reason, it’s really freaking hot outside.  Escape to the movie theater air conditioning because "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" is definitely the most enjoyable movie I’ve seen this summer.

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