Potter world is now going to hell in a handcart. It really is. The benign old buffers who used to scoff custard creams in the Ministry of Magic have lost it, and Dumbledore’s body lies a mould’ring in the grave — actually it doesn’t moulder, it kinda glows, obviously. Things are falling apart, the centre cannot hold. On the streets there's a purge of mudbloods. The Dark Mark fills the horizon, Black wispy Satanic candyfloss on speed zaps through darkened skies. It smokes like the rear end of my Morris 1100 used to when the big ends were going. Death Eaters loiter around the mouth of the Dartford Tunnel splatting owls.
Through the pallid dystopia created by Lord Voldemort and his dark chums trek Harry, Hermione and Ron like hobbits who wandered onto the wrong set. They camp out in a wee Canvas tent like my old dad had in the scouts, seeking Horcruxes to zap. That’s pretty much it, apart from assorted bangs and whistles, a few snakes snapping away like angry crocs, and a hooligan gang modeled on Adam and the ants. Dobby the House Elf provides the only emotional relief, blasted at the end.
I doubt that this particular movie will turn out to be many people’s Pick of the Potters. Not quite enough happens, and as the characters age, the school adventure fun has gone. The plot is all characterisation, setting up the characters for the final showdown. It’s really only starters for a main course to be served up next year — Deathly Hallows part 2.
It may be the final countdown, but that’s only a warm-up act for a rumble in the jungle that will make Armageddon look like a Sunday School outing. The elderly should bring earplugs. The young should clutch transitional objects and therapy buddies. Everyone, pack spare underwear. Forget Ali/ Frazier — this is Potter/ Voldemort, and the Dark Lord is already mooching around, his slitty little nose twitching at the smell of blood... Harry Potter is coming of age. And not just Harry. The New York Daily News tells us, in the real world, that Emma Watson kisses like an animal. “What kind of animal?” we may wonder, indiscreetly. An Anteater? A Slow Loris? a Manatee? Watch this space. 4 stars out of 5.