(12A) 146mins

Tuesday, 23rd November 2010, 11:34 am

Director: David Yates

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes

THIS film was always going to be a tougher task than the others as the action concentrates on the three main actors, with the big name cast flitting in and out in virtual cameos.

For the most part the trio fare pretty well, though Rupert Grint has looked the stand-out actor from day one.

There is a rather cringe-worthy dance scene involving Radcliffe and Watson that wasn’t in the book and probably should have stayed out of the movie, but on the plus side, some of the cast in ‘minor’ roles look promising stars of the future, especially Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley.

However, the movie is often brought back on course by the big names, such as Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham-Carter.

The storyline follows straight after Dumbledore’s death, with Voldemort and his minions intent on destroying Harry and his chums. But there is a chink in Voldemort’s armour, the pieces of his soul (Horcruxes) that are hidden.

This part of the Potter books is very dark in all respects, with evil dismal clouds hanging in the sky and the characters at their lowest point as they face seemingly insurmountable odds.

Thankfully there are comic episodes (mainly from Grint) to lighten the mood.

One problem with the movie is the fact that because the films have condensed the books a lot one of the Weasley brothers suddenly appears out of the blue (though he is well known in the books at this stage).

A warning - don’t expect too much to be wrapped up in this film - it is only part one.

Some of the audience were quite unhappy at the ending, but after nearly two and a half hours and parts of the body losing all feeling perhaps a 30-second taster of part two might have kept everyone happy.

We now wait until the summer for the finale which, no doubt, will break all box office records and looks set to be in 3D.

four out of five stars

Steve Payne