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July 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Thousands of Harry Potter fans packed Trafalgar Square in London this evening for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the final installment of the boy wizard series. The red-carpet to-do was broadcast in the U.K. and on the Internet in 3D via Sky 3D. Early trade reviews have been positive but less than ecstatic. Justin Chang in Variety wonders why the producers decided to close out the franchise with a film that runs only 131 minutes. “Why the rush?” he asks. The movie, he observes, “surges ahead with tremendous urgency, superb spectacle and powerful, even overwhelming emotion, only to falter with a hasty sendoff that seems to buckle under the weight of audience expectations. Tears will be shed as fans bid farewell to Hogwarts, but catharsis remains just out of reach.” (Unmentioned is the fact that a shorter film allows for additional screenings, consequently additional revenue.) Todd McCarthy concludes in the Hollywood Reporter: “This is an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of the series up to now. If ever there was a sure thing commercially, this stout farewell is it.”