If you haven’t had the chance to read my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1, allow me to briefly summarize my feelings on that film, all Harry Potter-related media and all Harry Potter fans: DIE. Why all the hate? Hard to say. Maybe I’m just a contrarian. Maybe there’s no reason to it at all, and, like a bull seeing red or a southerner seeing someone darker than antique off-white, I just loose my shit. But perhaps it’s the ubiquitousness of it all. As is the case with spiders, you are never more than 3 feet from a Potter fan, and if you don’t happen to be one, this is just so utterly taxing on one’s patience and sanity. For me, it likely has a lot to do with the fact that I grew up geek. Comic book geek, sci-fi geek, gaming geek (tabletop, not the socially acceptable kind), horror geek; I’ve been all of these things at one point or another (I got better; PROTIP: Drugs help). Point is, I learned at a very young age that if I didn’t shut the fuck up when not in the company of my own kind, I was going to earn a beating. You people, on the other hand, assume everyone is living in Harry Potter Land, and as such never keep it to yourself, whether or not any innocent bystanders give a shit. Bottom line: don’t assume that everyone, even people vaguely familiar with the series, give a shit about you creepy, sad fetishization of a franchise (or your Snape/Draco rape fan-fiction, you sick fuck). And here we come to the central problem with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2. It doesn’t just assume you’re a fan; it downright hates you if you aren’t. It throws up every roadblock the last film did towards understanding what is going on, and then it doubles down. Because it wants you to fail. Director David Yates actually wants you, the presumably novice Potter viewer, to approach this movie like you would a marathon game of Monopoly: rage, followed by defeat. But my will is strong, Yates. I made it out the other end, and have now come to expose you crimes to the people!
…as Harry, Ron, and Hermione attempt to break into the vault in pretty much the same fashion they broke into the Ministry of Magic in the last film, they… wait, what’s that? You’re lost? I’ve just dropped you in halfway into the paragraph, and I’ve falsely assumed you could follow where I’m going with all this?? Wow, I must be David-fucking-Yates. Look, I have no problem with splitting a massive film up into smaller, more easily digestible parts, but you gotta play a little catch up. Tarantino takes two minutes of the Bride delivering a monologue to get ya where you need to be in Kill Bill Vol. 2. TWO MINUTES. Fuck, in A New Hope, you had zero familiarity with the universe or characters, but that opening crawl tells you all you need to know before pressing “PLAY”. Deathly Hollows Part 2 can’t even bother to throw me a lazy montage of the last film’s plot points. Yates seems to forget that this is no longer a universally understood series the way it was in early instalments, which were pretty formulaic. Now we have a series so entrenched in its own continuity that it demands a primer just to halfway understand it. Part 1 suffered from not giving novice viewers much of a gateway into the world, but Part 2 is downright unforgiving about it. Because, again, it hates you.