Had I not read the books, I might have thought the movie was awesome and kickass and all the other words that one would use to describe an action flick. Harry Potter, however, is not an action movie. It’s a children’s story, albeit a very rich children’s story with more character development than most adult readings, but a children’s story nonetheless.
The final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort was unrecognizable from the book. Harry’s victory was not in physical battle, it was in a simplicity that Voldemort could never grasp. With all the survivors looking on, Harry employed one simple spell that did little, but accomplished what even the killing curse could not. Not so in the overblown fight sequence in the movie. Chase scenes, flying off the castle, one-on-one duel with no one around, little explanation, etc. were added for “Oooh” effect and the story suffered as a result.
The movie wasn’t without its merits, and I’m sure that over time I’ll be able to think of a few more than just McGonagall, Neville, and, um, uh, yeah, that’s all I’ve got right now.
In the end, I’m not sorry I saw the films, but I’m glad they’re over. I look forward to never speaking of them again.