Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

Me in the Daily Prophet
I made the front page of the Daily Prophet!

4.5 out of 5 stars

I think this could possibly be my favourite of the HP movie franchise. I’m so glad that David Yates was signed up to do the final 3 movies, he’s managed to nail the right look and feel for the films now, and they look spectacular!

I thought that the film, although very long, was well paced with a good balance of comedy, love interest, detective story, magic and action.

The opening scenes are fantastic and very reminiscent of the recent Spiderman movies, they make London look amazing. The contrast between the muggle world and the wizarding world is drawn really well, between the shimmering Gherkin and the crumbling dickensian Diagon Alley.We’re rewarded with a glimpse of Fred and George’s joke shop at the beginning of the film which is just magical.

In the same way Rickman upstaged Kevin Costner as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, he pretty much does it again here, being the character you want to see on screen the most. Alan Rickman hams it up with the best of them but manages to be serious when he needs to be. Snape could never have been played by anyone else: absolutely brilliant.

Having said that, Jim Broadbent does a wonderful turn as Professor Slughorn, and his entrance is hilarious (I won’€™t spoil it for you!)

Rupert Grint does a great job of gurning as Ron Weasley when he takes the love potion-laced chocolates meant for Harry. However, the scenes with Harry, Hermione and Ron are still stilted and for the most part, poorly acted. This is only emphasised by the superb ‘€˜young’€™ Voldemort/Tom Riddle, played by Frank Dillane, who I think will be one to watch.

The majority of the special effects are just fantastic. I was only disappointed in the scene before Harry and Dumbledore enter the cave, when we get a view of a raging sea. It’s obviously CGI and I think that was a shame. Why didn’€t they just film the real sea?! It was the only part of the film I thought ‘that’€™s fake’, the rest of it I believed in wholeheartedly.

*Spoiler alert!*

Finally, the closing scenes of the film are dealt with really well, the death of Dumbledore is moving and well shot and it sets up well for the final instalment which I can’€™t wait for!

Take the kids?

I don’€™t think it’s a film for children, not so much because it€’s scary (it’€™s no scarier than the other films) but some younger children would just be bored I think, as there is less magic and more sleuthing and the themes are just more grown up (just as the books).

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