Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is Better in 2D

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will offer audiences a choice this weekend that no previous Potter film has. It can be viewed in traditional 2D, or for a few more bucks, Voldemort and his Death Eaters will jump off the screen in 3D.

Which version should you watch? The answer is more definitive than of us at TheHDRoom thought it would be, and Warner Bros. won’t be happy with it.

This past Monday myself and TheHDRoom writers Shawn Fitzgerald and Travis Niblett all attended different press screenings for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 3D while sporting 3D glasses modeled after Harry’s famous spectacles. Considering Warner Bros. pulled the plug on a post-conversion to 3D on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 after investing a sizable chunk of change in it, the general consensus was that Part 2 would offer up some of the best visuals that 3D has to offer.

Within minutes of Deathly Hallows Part 2 rolling it became obviously clear that 3D would be more a hindrance than an enhancement. The already dark visuals of a wizard world under control of Voldemort’s forces are muddied from the spell of 3D. After about 10 minutes or so into the film, the 3D effect either tarnishes the film with ghosting images or is mostly forgotten with only a lasting memory of an overly dark picture remaining. Not until the aftermath of Harry and Voldemort’s final confrontation does 3D become apparent again in what amounts to the only effective use of it in the entire film.

Here’s Shawn take on the post-conversion 3D effects in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

The trailers and television advertisements for the final Harry Potter film The Deathly Hallows Part II implore viewers to “complete the journey in 3D.” Well, after doing so without much choice at the press screening this past Monday in Boston, I have to do the opposite.

It’s not that the final movie is bad and that you should skip it. In fact, it’s a knockout of a finale and easily one of the best films Hollywood has churned out this year. No, I must ask all of you to avoid spending the extra money dictated by Warner Brothers for the sloppy post-production 3D conversion. As is the case with most productions post-Avatar who have had the gimmick applied after the movie was shot in traditional 2D, the image on Deathly Hallows Part II is dim and blurry. The visual effects now look cheap, and with the exception of one or two small effects, the 3D adds nothing to the film. In fact, at times it took me out of the film rather than in. After seven movies in a rock solid franchise, that is the last thing I wanted to happen with this movie.

As Public Enemy once said, “don’t believe the hype.” Don’t buy into the studios’ trickery and pay more for less. 3D, when properly done during a film’s production, can yield good results. Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon and even Transformers: Dark of the Moon are all fine examples of genuine, honest-to-goodness 3D in full effect. More often than not though, it’s a headache inducing cash grab by an industry desperate to make a quick buck. The only way to get the message across to Hollywood that we’re fed up is to skip the pricier screenings. By all means, get out there and complete the journey we all started a decade ago. Just be sure to do so in a way the filmmakers intended you to.

Travis was short on time when I hit him up for his 3D impressions but I think you’ll get the idea from only a few sentences.

I felt the movie was amazing, but I really couldn’t stand the 3D. There’s an early moment, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are talking on the stairs that I immediately wished the film wasn’t in 3D. When I see it again at midnight tonight, but definitely not going with 3D.

Many of you won’t have a choice this weekend but to see the 3D version consider the number of pre-sold sellouts and many more sellouts to come. If you are stuck having to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 3D, do yourself a favor a make and plot return trip for the 2D version.

– Dan Bradley

TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.