Harry Potter Complete 8 Film Collection Review

Harry Potter Complete 8 Film Collection Review | 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 | Fantasy, Adventure

Let me start by saying, the Harry Potter films did not convert me into a Potthead. Wait, I mean Potterhead. Pott-ER-head. I think that’s what kids call Harry Potter fans these days anyway.

I wanted to like the Harry Potter movies. They get a lot of positive hype. I generally enjoy of fantasy and sci-fi movies. But, the best I can say is that I appreciate them.

Harry Potter complete 8 film collection: Review

Though I may not be a Potterhead, I did enjoy the series overall. I found myself engaged in the plots of most of the movies (what I understood of them anyway) and wanting to know what happened next. And the movies do an overall good job of slowly building up to the return of Voldemort and the final showdown.

Still, I found the overall series hard to follow.

Backing things up a bit, I have to admit, I never read a full Harry Potter book. And I managed to avoid spoilers throughout the years due largely to a lack of interest.

Still, I thought, “what the hell I’ll watch the Harry Potter films without reading the books first.” And I figured, based on past experience with some films, that I may ultimately really like them.

But here are the conclusions I reached when watching all eight Harry Potter movies for this review:

Overall sense of confusion

One of my biggest issues was an overall feeling of being lost. To a large degree, it seems like you had to have read the books to actually fully understand what was going on.

I had a similar sense when watching the new Star Wars trilogy, particularly the very rushed feeling from the Rise of Skywalker. They didn’t explain half the character connections to each other or why I should care about them.

By contrast, I have never had an issue with figuring out what was going on in the 20 plus films of the MCU. Sure, some of them expected the viewer to see other films in the MCU, like Endgame or Captain Marvel.

But most of the MCU films could stand on their own with or without prior knowledge of the other films. And more importantly, you could understand them without reading the comic books.

In the Harry Potter movies, people, places, and objects all sort of blended in together. And often times I had to process it as “they are getting that thing to defeat the bad guy.”

Difficulty hearing dialog

A good portion of my issue with figuring out exactly what was going on came down to an issue with the dialog. It was not stilted, unimaginative, or otherwise dull. (These words are me pretending to be real critic) But, if I’m honest here, I wouldn’t know because I could barely hear most of it.

In large part, I blame the overbearing background music. In other cases, I blame the muffled, heavy British accents.

And finally, I blame my young daughter. She insisted on asking questions about nearly everything. She also, in her typical fashion, played along with the movies, making noise that slowly took over the room.

But regardless of fault, I often had a hard time figuring out who or what the characters were talking about. I found myself often coming up with questions like:

  • Are they talking about Daniel Radcliffe?
  • Or Emma Watson?
  • What did Hans Gruber (aka Alan Rickman) just say?
  • What did that kid suffering from Gingervitis (Rupert Grint) just say? He seemed to know something important just then…
  • and so on…

But I was still intrigued. Was Hans Gruber (Professor Severus Snape) really bad?

Hans Gruber and Professor Severus Snape from Harry Potter
I mean, several years before, he assumed the identity of Hans Gruber to rob the Nakatomi Plaza. He must have used magic recover from his fall.

Will Emma Watson and the Ginger kid get together and produce an army of soulless Ginger Kids? What is the connection between Voldemort and Harry?

Ginger kids from South Park
Is this South Park or a Weasley family reunion? I’m not quite sure.

Poor pacing

One of my wife and I’s chief complaints about the Harry Potter movies is an issue of pacing. Some of the Harry Potter films moved along quit nicely. The Chamber of Secrets comes to mind as does The Deathly Hallows: Part II.

But then others dragggggged. The Deathly Hallows: Part I felt like nothing but a slow, cumbersome, and somewhat confusing lead up to the final film of the series.

And there were others like it. Only some would pick up in parts only to get dragged down in one scene or another that did not seem to add much to the plot.

Compelling despite the issues

In spite of it all, I still found myself compelled to finish the 8 Harry Potter movie. Ultimately, the desire to see it through and the interest I took in seeing how the series ended is what saves the Harry Potter movies for me.

Otherwise, I would likely be writing a much more scathing review and may not have even finished the movies in the first place. The ending of the series contained twists that were still somewhat surprising in the Deathly Hallows: Part II and a good overall resolution to the living and even dead characters.

That is, except Draco Malfoy and his family. They just let them escape. And later we learn later that Draco’s kids are allowed to Hogwarts with Harry’s kids. I assume the books explain this a bit better. I gather, based on events, he had a change of heart or something to that effect.

I’m not going to lie, I sort of wanted to see his father get brutally killed or something. He deserved a worse fate after how he treated everyone.

Harry Potter for the kids

The only part of the Harry Potter that my 5 year old daughter was briefly scared about are the dementors, which are first introduced in the Prisoner of Azkaban. Otherwise, our demented little child roots for the “monsters.”

Dementors around Hogswart

She does this with the original Avengers and End Game too. Her favorite part of both movies is the attack on New York and the Avengers’ compound when the “fishy” come from the sky to destroy the city or compound.

She also gets quite upset when Antman punches the one “fishy” in End Game. So it did not surprise me when our little sociopath started to root for the fire snakes to devour Harry in the last movie, the spiders, the ogre in the first movie, and so on.

If you are not raising the next serial killer like I apparently am, you probably want to start the Harry Potter movies a bit later since they do deal with death, violence, and so on. But if you have older kids or a kid that may one day burn the house down while you are still in it, Harry Potter won’t bother them.

Take away

If you are new to Harry Potter and have the time, energy, and desire, you might want to read the books first. I can only assume that they will help fill you in a lot more on what is actually going on in the movies. Still, if you have never read the books, enjoy fantasy stories, and don’t mind being a little confused, you can watch the Harry Potter films without reading several thousand pages of text.

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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