Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince Review

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Ahh the dog days of summer.. when its 90 degrees outside and regularly updating your blog just isn’t on the to-do list. I hope nobody holds it against me. I did however have a chance to see the sixth Harry Potter film this past weekend. It’s predictably doing well at the box office and Potter fans have something to feed their appetite until next year.

We start things off with a much darker tone in this film. London is under attack and the Death Eaters are going wild. The “muggles” or non-magic practicing humans are being openly terrorized and theres a pretty cool sequence where a bridge is destroyed. The Potter series gets progressively darker in tone in the books, and it’s great to see that the movies are headed in the same direction. It was interesting to note that the theater I saw the movie in was predominantly filled with adults and only a handful of small children. It show’s how relatable the franchise is to the everyday moviegoer, something it’s rival Twilight doesn’t seem to have going for it.

The cast is all back together, Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are all preparing to head back to Hogwarts and there is a sense of fear of going back as nobody knows when Voldemort will strike. There’s a pretty riveting scene in the beginning with Harry and Professor Dumbledore exploring a ransacked house. There’s also some great comedy between the three main characters and their classmates. This film does a great job of balancing dark tone and subject matter with comedy and lighthearted fun.

Most non-Potter fans who see this movie will undoubtedly be disappointed with the anticlimatic ending. The sixth and seventh book are bridged together by a pretty big event occuring and while it wets your appetite to see what’s next, it can also be annoying to know the wait is quite a long time. Without ruining the plot for anyone not familiar, this film focuses heavily on the childhood of Tom Riddle, who of course goes onto become Lord Voldemort. We learn about his school days at Hogwart’s and when he first discovered his powers. We also learn a bit about his master plan and the film sets up Harry’s quest for the next 2 movies perfectly with the horcrux plot.

Overall, if you’re a Harry Potter fanatic you’ve probably seen this movie by now or will see it and most certainly love every moment. Harry, Hermione, and Ron have almost become like distant relatives at this point and their adventures are fun to follow either through images or words. Their place in pop culture is sound, and anyone with an interest in the novel’s will appreciate the great level of detail that goes into the film. Every scene and set piece is pretty identical to how you would imagine it in your head. The casting is done very well, and the action/quidditch scenes are hollywood blockbuster at its best.

If you’re not a Potter fan and just have casual interest than there’s nothing wrong for waiting til DVD. A theater viewing will not do much to enhance the experience and the story itself is a bit weak in the middle. If you haven’t seen the other film’s you may not be too excited about this one. The next 2 film’s have been set up and will hopefully finish off this franchise with a bang. Now if only J.K. Rowling could give us JUST one more book!

8/10

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