Monday, July 20, 2009
Darkmatters Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (12a)
Dir. David Yates - who previously brough you Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (with eldest son Luke in a packed show in Stevenage)
ONE WORD SUMMATION: Horcruxed
“Years ago, I knew a boy who made all the wrong choices. He seemed a student like any other. His name was Tom Riddle. Today, the world knows him by another name: Voldemort…”
Listen up muggle lovers, Harry Potter is back for the sixth time – now tackling a historical mystery about a rogue agent known only as ‘The Half Blood Prince.’ This ‘prince’ once attended Hogwarts and his annotated potions text book helps Harry shoot to the top of the class – now taught by the slimy Horace Slughorn (a genius turn from Jim Broadbent). But young Harry is growing up and so fighting ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’s minions (again) takes a bit if a backseat whilst his hormones dictate that he needs to wise up to the wiles of the fairer sex.
"Hermione - she's a keeper!"
Harry’s best friends Ron (lanky Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson getting cuter every year) are also feeling the effects of teenage emotions kicking in and start to find each other irresistible. It is Ron’s sister Ginny (Bonnie Wright) who becomes the focus of Potter’s adolescent fantasies – or might it be true love?
The upshot of all this teen angst and hormonal desire is that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – working title ‘Harry Potter and the Slightly Tedious Tying Up Of Plot Points’ limps around signifying nothing much. To this end the film, much like the book, feels like we’re treading water, dragging out the story rather than ramping up to the final climactic showdown that everybody is waiting for. Sure we do get the death of a major character but even that feels a bit cheap and is not afforded the magnitude that they deserved.
"Did I mention - miss Watson is the best thing about Half Blood Prince?"
Having said all that, Half Blood Prince isn’t actually a bad film and Potter fans will find much to enjoy here. Returning director Yates is right at home in the magical world and delivers some sumptuous visuals, a cracking game of Quidditch and plenty of wizardly attention to detail. The cast have made these parts their own and even their limited acting ability works to make the awkwardness of being a teenage feel more authentic.
If you’ve seen parts 1 – 5 then you’ll need to see this but I doubt that anyone will come out proclaim this their favourite of the series. Bring on the Deathly Hallows parts 1 & 2 already…
Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 – Harry's still quality but this one drags a bit)
Darkmatters quick reference guide:
Action 5 (lacking)
Style 7 (magical)
Babes 8 (jailbait)
Comedy 6 (Ron W)
Horror 6 (curses)
Spiritual Enlightenment 5 (sacrifice)
Matt reviews Harry Potter and:
THE GOBLET OF FIRE
THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX