Friday, July 17, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Let me say right away that I am definitely a Harry Potter fan, although it has been a while since I read the book--probably just as well, since I had an unsettling feeling that they were changing or omitting various things, and it was better for me if I couldn't figure out exactly what the differences were. That didn't stop me from making a beeline to the bookshelf when I got home, however. Anyway, as for the movie itself, in the words of Randy Jackson, "it was just OK for me." Although various reviews mentioned increased role of romance in the movie, the build-up between Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginny was ultimately abandoned (with a whimper, rather than a bang) in favor of the Harry/Dumbledore relationship. However, it's not like that relationship (and the perspective on Voldemort's past that it yields to Harry) is given full justice either. The film had a lot of surface but very little depth, which is probably 1) a function of the difficulty of adapting a giant book that needed some editing in the first place, and 2) an annoying side effect of stretching the film franchise out for another two movies. The film manages to accomplish a lot superficially but leaves one feeling as if nothing much happened until the final ten minutes. It is difficult to imagine being super-excited about the next film, knowing that it won't be the last and will (like this one) have no real resolution. I'd rather re-read the book. Wake me up when it's 2011 and the last movie is out in theaters.

Grade: B-

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