Reviewing the Trailer for HARRY POTTER 7

Back in March 2009, I wrote an article about a then-new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I titled the thing “All New, All Dark: The Disappointing New Trailer for HARRY POTTER 6”. So, why is it that the first full-length trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is darker and more bleak than any Potter trailer we’ve seen to date, is having the exact opposite effect on me?

My key problem with that trailer for Half-Blood Prince was that it was manipulating audiences of the movie it was attached to (Watchmen) into believing that a Harry Potter flick was going to be on par with the bleakness present in the film they were about to see. I saw that trailer as a bait and switch. It was well-known at that point that Half-Blood Prince was going to be as much about snogging, love potions, and comedic quidditch as it was about death and destruction, and I just couldn’t stand to watch what Warner Bros. was doing with a property I loved so much.

What’s different this time around is that the story they’re advertising is the story we’re going to get. Having read the full series a number of times, and having obsessed over the minutiae of the final book a few times more, I feel fairly confident after having watched this new trailer that we’re going to get two movies as close to the source material in tone and content as we could possibly get. Every time I watch it, I fall more in love with what David Yates has shot and with what the suits at Warner Bros. have put together to tease us. In my eyes, they’ve totally redeemed themselves. From the trio’s initial escape to Voldemort’s desecration of Dumbledore’s tomb, from the subtly more innocent look Helena Bonham Carter gives with her performance of Hermione-as-Bellatrix to the dragon destroying the halls of Gringotts, everything looks just about right to me.

The only thing I worry slightly about—and I stress the word slightly here—is the final battle between Potter and Voldemort. In discussing this moment with my sister-in-law and her husband over the 4th of July weekend, we came to agreement on the fact that what absolutely makes the end of that battle is the climactic and definitive thud of Voldemort’s body hitting the floor after his own killing curse rebounds on him. From the looks of the trailer, we’re in for something a bit more Hollywood in the film version. Not only is Hogwarts in a far more ruined state than described in the book, but Harry and Voldie are locked in a spell battle at the end that is far more reminiscent of their fight in Goblet of Fire than what is described in J.K. Rowling’s finale.

I don’t think what we see in the trailer precludes the possibility that we’ll get the Voldemort toppling backwards moment. For now, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they’ll come up with a reasonable compromise. Until the film comes out, I reserve judgement.

The truth is that there is simply too much that’s right in this trailer to nitpick about what’s wrong. All of the initial concerns I had—I initially thought that was Hogwarts that the dragon was demolishing—were alleviated on a second and third viewing, and I keep finding new moments that suggest awesomeness is in store.

But what say you, Fivers? Is this trailer doing it for you? What are your concerns? And what do you think looks simply too amazing to wait until November (or next July, as the case may be) to see? Let us know in the comments!