The problem with David Yates’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” is the same one the book had.
For roughly 40 minutes in the middle of the film (as in the middle of the book), the trio of heroes – Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley - sit in a tent and quibble.
Essentially we watch them wait for something to happen. Isn’t that supposed to be the part that’s left out of the movie?
Which is why this seventh film in the series (Part 2 will be released next summer) is a drag: Too little happens – and then when it does kick into gear, it stops: “To be continued.”
As for the story, well, why bother trying to explain it at this point? If you haven’t been following along, there’s no catching up. It would be like trying to explain “Lost” to someone who missed the first two seasons and wants to start with the third.
Suffice to say that, after six films, the evil Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has reconstituted himself and his evil cohort and taken control of the magic world. He’s out to kill Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his followers. And Harry and friends are trying to stop him. If you haven’t been keeping up, that’s about as succinct as it gets.
Don’t worry. “HP7,” as the posters have it, eventually finds something to do with itself and builds to exciting encounters and face-offs. It’s just that, by the time we reach them, the movie is over. As a result, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” is a mammoth act of magic interruptus.
2 1/2 Stars