Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

October 26, 2010

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


This wasn’t by any means the best Harry Potter film as the book, which is one of my favorites from the series, bounces through a lot of details and the movie simply wasn’t able to cover them all.  There was plenty of teen romance in the book but it focuses a lot of the Harry, Dumbledore, and Voldemort relationship and delves much deeper into Voldemorts past.  This area is glossed over in the film.

The story is likely the weakest part of this film.  As I’ve hinted at, the book revolves strongly around Dumbledore showing Harry everything that he has found out on Voldemort in his attempt to find a way to stop him.  The film covers several of these areas, but doesn’t delve as deeply into Voldemort’s back story trying instead to bring forth the romance that blossoms between the various characters, Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginny.  This is somewhat cheesy in the book, but is balanced with the quite suspenseful and thought provoking parts about Voldemort.  In the film the balance is disturbed and the cheesy teen romances are made even cheesier.  They are splitting the last Harry Potter film (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) into two films, and that really should have been the case with this film as well.  Then they could have maintained their balance.

The performances are on par with the other performances.  Emma Watson as Hermione does a great job, and might be the one of the main three characters who won’t always be known as for playing their Harry Potter character.  Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint both are fine in their roles, but their acting ability is not on par with Watson’s.  Alan Rickman is brilliant, as normal, as Severus Snape and Helena Bonham Carter does a great job being very creepy as a LeStrange.  The performances in these films don’t change from time to time, which is nice, and there hasn’t been much issue with continuity and the characters which  makes the whole series come together nicely.

Visually this film was well done.  It is hard to do all that poorly with a budget the size that it was, but the shot selection is very solid in this film.  David Yates, the director of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as well as the last two films, does a good job getting the feel for these worlds, and not making it purely a kids world like it is in the first couple of films, but bringing in some of the darker elements of the books.  The scoring is beautiful as well and again has the benefit of borrowing some from the previous films.

Overall this film is worth checking out, the Harry Potter films in general are worth checking out, especially as a fan of the series.  Yes, they won’t meet the standards of the books, but it is a rare occasion when they actually do meet the standards.  This film is a bit hokeyier than some, but that can be overlooked and still allows for the film to be enjoyed.

Entertainment Grade: B+

Critical Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B


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