'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2' recap: War, Death, and Snogging

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

THE WRIGHT GIRL? Is Ginny worthy of Harry?

Ginny rushes in. Harry doesn't move. For once, she looks excited and seems like a mannequin hit with a Botox spell. Still, it's tough to buy Harry's attraction: Ginny likes him and she's, uh, quiet and nice and.... Yeah, after seven books and eight movies, that's all I got. Ginny comes off like a dour Harry Potter fan more than a worthy contender for his romantic interest, let alone his ideal life partner. And Harry — as we'll see three times later in this film — never seems very excited by her. Our hero deserves someone lively, bright and, you know, fun. Here's some advice Harry: Settling too soon results in unhappy marriages; you should play the field after you defeat the Dark Lord (and I don't mean the Quidditch one).

Great Hall: Snape lines up the students and demands anybody with knowledge of Harry Potter's whereabouts step forward. The veteran English actors overact like mad in the Potter films and Snape's speech verges on self-parody. In a cool moment added from the book, Harry steps out and reveals himself.

''How dare you stand where he stood?'' Harry yells. ''Tell them how it happened that night. How you looked him in the eye, a man who trusted you, and killed him.'' Love the conflicted expression on Snape's face as he listens to Harry's outrage.

Snape vanishes in wild batty style, but our celebration is brief. Voldemort gets on his psychic PA system and announces the staff and students must give up Harry. (If only Voldemort had a cackling Bellatrix write ''Surrender Harry'' above the school in black smoke while riding a broomstick). Prof. McGonagall leads the staff to secure the castle, building a massive force field to guard the grounds.

Outside: Voldemort arrives with his army. Does the Dark Lord require all of them to dress in black, or is that their fashion preference since they're evil? They fire off spells trying to crack the force field. The clock is ticking...

Hogwarts: Luna tells Harry the object he's searching for is Ravenclaw's lost ''di-a-dem,'' which nobody has seen in years. With the accents, it almost sounds like they need to find Ravenclaw's lost diaphragm. Thankfully, there's somebody at Hogwarts as dumb as the rest of us and we're told a diadem is ''a crown...like a tiara.''

Harry finds the Grey Lady, the ghost of the Ravenclaw house. Opinion: Ghosts were the second least advisable invention in the Potter-verse, since dealing with death is a huge theme in this story and having spirits of chatty wizards floating around weakens the more permanent tragedy of Harry's own losses. (The No. 1 least advisable invention was, of course Book 3's Time Turner, a device that allows any wizard to undo any event in the story; insanely massive power that professors gave to Hermione so she could do more schoolwork (!?); Rowling seemed to realize this issue herself when she had all the Time Turners conveniently wiped out in Book 5 during the Dept. of Mysteries fight and then explained they take years to rebuild. Uh huh. Screw the horcruxes and swords, Voldemort and Dumbledore should have stashed away some Time Turners if they really wanted to win).

The Gray Lady tells Potter the diadem is in the ''room of hidden things'' — a version of the Room of Requirement the staff uses as its storage locker. Harry runs out and bumps into Ginny again and....

NEXT: Ron Weasley and The Chamber of Snogging; Severus severed

1 2 3 4 5 8