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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Review

Be warned! There's a spoiler in here somewhere!
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PLOT: As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously "This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past. (IMDB)

I've only ever read the first four Harry Potter books and lost interest in Harry Potter by the time I was in Year 7. I'm not a loyal follower or anything, and I haven't seen or heard about rabid Harry Potter fans so that's good (can't say the same for Twilight). All I can say is that Harry Potter (for the most part) is universally loved. I've followed the Harry Potter series through film so when it came to this movie being released this year, I felt kinda obliged to see it. I can't say I was excited to watch the next installment (quite frankly I think they should stop milking the cow), but I was quite content to see it.

Plot-wise, this movie does a pretty good job in holding things together and not ever really straying too far away from the important things and divulging into subplots. The main strength of this film, as with most of the Harry Potter films, have been the story. It's quite riveting and very fun to watch on screen. One little criticism that I have to raise however is that parts of the plot weren't explained and much of it felt skipped. Yes, I understand that they had to cut a lot of content from the novel and keep the necessary bits, but I found some parts to be quite confusing or distracting because of the lack of explanation.
Our three heroes: Ron, Hermione and Harry.
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For example *SPOILER ALERT* When Snape walks away from Harry and abolishes Harry's newly learnt spells, Snape says something like, "You think you can use my own spells against me? Yes, that's right...I am the Half Blood Prince." Well, WHY is he the Half Blood Prince? What is the Half Blood Prince? I mean the movie is called Harry potter and the Half Blood Prince but it makes no attempt to explain itself. I just felt this was something that could've been fixed. *END SPOILERS*

Character development was really good in this movie. As the plot progressed, so did the characters! This movie gets a whole load of teenage love injected into it and really shows off some acting chops from the teenage cast. Emma Watson was great, I loved her charater this time around (I hated her beforehand cause she was the snobby-know it all). I like how she shows her vulnerability, but the same can be said for all the characters in this. Daniel Radcliffe was pretty ordinary in this movie (Luna Lovegood said so herself!). I also really liked Ron (Rupert Grint) in this movie; he probably has the best moments in the film.

The rest of the cast is brilliant; I love how this movie attracts the best in British acting. Alan Rickman, who plays Snape is just brilliant; he always has been at that role. I'll never forget Rickman in Die Hard. Best...villain...ever! Yeah, he plays great villains. Ya know, I really would've liked to have seen more Helena Bonham Carter (plays Bellatrix Lestrange) cause she just looks like she has so much fun with that role. She coulda brought a bit of her Fight Club character, Marla, into it just for kicks.
Potions class with Professor Slughorn
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Also the cinematography is great, every scene was very nicely shot. It looks so nice on screen; especially all the snow scenes! I love it. And let's not forget the visual effects for they have always been an aweinspriing feature of the Harry Potter films. I swear, the Death Eater's apparitions and movements are effing beautiful.

Some bad things about the movie...I actually wanted to know a lot more about Voldermort! I mean the title plot above suggests that you learn MORE about the Dark Lord, but you don' least not as much as I would've liked! I really like Voldermort; he's a great embodiment of evil, just like Darth Vader is the embodiment of fear and evil in the Star Wars universe. So it's a shame that not as much of Voldermort is revealed though there is enough to let the story flow.
Ginny and Harry
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Also, where's the action?!?!?! I know I said earlier that they injected a lotta teenage romance into it (which I liked of course), but that also sorta takes some of the things that made earlier Potter films great fun. Don't get me wrong, romance between the students was really fun to watch but I would've liked to have seen some more action!

Despite this being a 2 and a half hour movie, I actually didn't think it felt that long. I was really engaged with the story and liked watching it unfold. I know I said I was disappointed with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but that isn't to say that I wasn't bored, it was just I wasn't as engaged as much as I thought I would've liked to. Where Transformers failed, this succeeded. Looking back at the Potter films, I can't see any of them as being "weak". They're all pretty good films and I don't think any one of them is horrible or attrocious. This movie is also no exception as the dark and broody nature of the Harry Potter story keeps getting deeper and deeper.

Overall, I rate Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince a 4 out of 5.


  1. A bit late to be writing this comment, but I always assumed Half Blood meant half muggle half wizard blood. Dunno what prince meant. I don't actually think the book explains it either, maybe in the last book S:.

    Also, you compare to Star Wars too much.

    And finally, I actually wished it was longer, I was so interested in what would happen next.