“Since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is doing so well, let’s split Part 2 into a number of sub-parts so large that the parts and their profits stretch to infinity! Franchise-us Extend-us!”
“What if we create direct-to-DVD animated version of our heroes as toddlers and call it Harry Potter and the Terrible Twos? Juvenile-us Exploit-us!”
“Let’s take the Star Trek path and launch a new franchise called Hogwarts: The Next Generation. And this time their wands can fire photon torgpedoes! Engage-us Picard-us!”
“Let’s do a prequel! Dumbledore: The facial stubble years. Norelco-us Shick-us!”
“One word: Muppets! Henson-us Oz-us!”
“How about Harry Potter, the Broadway Musical starring Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenoweth and featuring lyrics that rhyme with ‘Gryffindor’ and ‘Hufflepuff?’”
“And what lyrics would that be, exactly?” asked a Warners studio executive too thoughtful to last more than six months.
Meanwhile, in the magical world of Harry Potter:
Harry wondered aloud: “I know it’s an expression, but is it true that Maggie Smith is older than the actual hills?”
And so begins the latest chapter in the Harry Potters universe: The only universe, I might add, where a character named “Weasley” is a hero.
Time to escape the Dark Lord and his minions, so everyone must drink a brew that will transform them into the likeness of Harry Potter. Because when Valdemort is on your trail there’s nothing safer than resembling Harry Potter!
“Let’s save some potion for Prince William,” said Hermione. “I fear the Dark Lord himself has stolen his looks leaving only the crown, which is obviously blinding to potential mates.”
“Hermione, the Prince has only lost his hair, he has!” said Weasley.
“I can’t see hair through the glare of the crown, Ron,” she replied. “Enchanto! Overlook-his-flaws-o! Future Queen-o!”
How is it that Bill Nighy keeps getting hired to roll syllables and chew what little scenery fits on the same screen with him? Not since the great Paul Lynde was a character so far over the top he was invisible to it. “Over-r-r-r-act-o! Method-o! Obliviate-o!”
Harry’s on the run, and everyone wants him. We know this because his face is plastered all over magic-land on posters reading “Undesirable #1.” Personally, I consider #2 more undesirable, but that’s just me.
How to reach this magical land? You have to literally flush yourself into it – which brings us back to #2.
Harry and Company are smitten by a locket which they must destroy.
“How can we lose this locket permanently?” asks Harry.
“Store it with my car keys,” volunteers Weasely.
“Give it to Dobby,” suggests Hermione.
“No,” said Harry. “Dobby refers to Dobby in the third person, and Harry finds that so exceedingly egotistical even Val Kilmer doesn’t do it.”
We have left the cozy confines of Hogwarts in this flick and instead zip from one corner of the British countryside to the next, often in a tent, and usually within sunset distance of a romantic cliff.
“Fan out across the romantic cliffs!” commanded the Dark Lord to his tribe. “They are catnip to cinematographers and wizards, alike!”
Witness the return of Luna Lovegood, an actress who has studied much since her last Harry Potter role, “and not a second of studying acting, obviously” she pointed out with so little energy I would have assumed she was asleep if I wasn’t asleep myself.
“With a name like ‘Lovegood’ I’m the luckiest woman with a profile on Match.com,” said Luna.
“The second-luckiest,” said Moonraker’s Holly Goodhead.
By the conclusion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, we’re reminded that we just spent two and a half hours where, frankly, not a lot happens. It’s a big, long, expensive promo for the Final Chapter.
All in all, this movie was fine, but you have to imagine Daniel Radcliffe is ready to stretch his wand a little instead of having Harry Potter fans stretch it for him.