by Rick Grant
Grade: B / Rated PG / 135 min
This edition of the Harry Potter saga waxes overly long, boring, and lacks excitement. However, since I’m not a fan of the genre, I must be somewhat objective to the millions of Harry Potter fans. Of course, viewers must suspend their disbelief that a teenage boy can fly a broom supersonically and perform real magic.
The series is imaginative, but in her sixth book, J.K. Rowling lost some of her edge in her basic premise that the forces of good magic are under attack by the Dark Lord’s army of evil magic practitioners with Harry Potter and his posse caught in the middle.
Potter returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his 6th year. He goes there via Dumbledore’s supersonic flight-zoom and he’s there. While taking a course in potions, he discovers an old book marked “this is the property of the Half-Blooded Prince.”
Intrigued, Potter uses the notes in the book and it gives him an advantage. But, the notes steer Potter toward the dark side of magic and later he discovers the identity of the Half-Blooded Prince-a spy for the Dark Lord.
Meanwhile, the Dark Lord’s forces are attacking Hogwarts on a regular basis, lead by the witch, Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). Dumbledore realizes that a showdown with the dark forces is imminent and he must get Potter ready for the onslaught.
Dumbledore recruits his old friend Professor Horace Slughorn to teach magic potions at Hogwarts as Potter must negotiate the petty romance and jealously between Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) over Ron Wesley’s new love interest.
Ron takes a love potion and is enchanted to a stupid degree. But Professor Slughorn gives him an antecdote to the potion. Yes, Potter’s posse is experiencing the raging hormones of adolescence which appeals to the younger Potter fans. Hogwarts is like any high school, dripping with romantic drama.
Nonetheless, Potter heeds Dumbledore’s warning and is spying on Wormtail (Timothy Spall) who is under the witch, Bellatrix Estrange’s spell. Potter uncovers a plot to assassinate Dumbledore but he doesn’t know when or where. In the meantime, Potter is drawn more to Ginny Wesley (Bonnie Wright) while he councils Hermione on her jealously of Ron’s new girlfriend.
Ah yes, teen angst mixed with puppy love can be a very disorienting experience for Potter and his pals. Dumbledore sees into his future and it looks bleak. Potter is stalking Wormtail to get any details of the murder plot, and the magic world turns with Hogwarts under attack.
Directed by David Yates with Steve Kloves adaptation of Rowling’s novel to screenplay. Yates created the murky anti-world of Hogwarts with glorious attention to detail, and a million candles.
Rowling’s book series has done wonders to get kids reading and interested in literature, even if it is in the realm of adolescent fantasy. The movies, like all films based on popular books, are separate entities from the books, giving the readers glimpses of the books’ expansive detail.
For those diehard fans who have read all the books, this movie will only enhance their interest and enjoyment of the Potter series. Of course, Daniel Redcliffe is getting a bit too old to play the role. This could be his last Potter film.
Then again, when the studio throws ridiculous amounts of money at him, he can scale down his looks to a younger age to play the role. Rowling hit the jackpot with her books that captured the imagination of a wide range of ages of Potter fans. It’s a safe bet there will be another film after this one goes ballistic.
Harry Potter & The Half-Blooded Prince
by Rick Grant