Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We would like to begin by applauding Warner Bros for making and releasing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the way they did. Granted, there was little question that an audience existed, but it still shows a remarkable respect for that audience.

Like its predecessor, this film is not a story but rather a fragment, a piece of something larger. While the earlier installments could, in some sense, be described similarly, they were still adventures in their own right, complete with beginnings, middles, and endings. Here, there are several plot threads; most of which began in the earlier movies and don't resolve at the conclusion.

Most of what does occur is internal in nature. Who's romantically involved with who takes up a large portion of the film's running time. When the movie does return to the epic battle between good and evil, it's largely in an expositional format. This is back story and explanation.

In most circumstances, this would be a negative; here the opposite is true. Half-Blood Prince came across as thoughtful and meticulous, structured like an episode of a television show or, more accurately, a book in a series. The plot could have been altered to something more adventurous, but the result would likely have been less intriguing. As it was, there were elements of mystery, love stories, and tragedy.

There were few effects that hadn't been introduced in earlier installments, but Half-Blood Prince did a good job using these in service to the story. At no point did the movie seem to be showing off, a sign of good direction.

This isn't to say there weren't problems. It seemed to us that the roles of some characters were cut too short. In addition, elements of the ending felt rushed.

But, overall, it was an engaging bridge towards the next movie. After six pictures, these are feeling more like episodes of a television show than films. But there's little denying they are from a very impressive series.

Against The Lord of the Rings, we'll offer this installment of Harry Potter three and a half stars, an impressive showing for so high a bar. Assuming you've seen the series this far, you should be pleased.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The most recent Harry Potter movies aren't that good anymore especially since most of the young characters got older now.... There was a certain cuteness to Harry Potter before that appealed more to kids... I doubt if its still there.