Monday, January 14, 2013

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (David Yates, 2009) Review

I'm not really sure how I can introduce this one. I've been doing the Harry Potter films for a while now so how can I possibly introduce the penultimate (kind of) one. Everything that needed to be established has already been established by this point in the franchise and is only used to set up the finale. Well then, I guess it's time to dive in to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (yeah, I didn't say "Let's find out". Let the world end, let the waters boil, let the sky fall...GET OUTTA MY HEAD ADELE!!!)

Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) army grows stronger and has gained the loyalty of Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) due to connections with his father (Jason Issacs). Meanwhile, Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) manages to convince old Hogwarts professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to come out of retirement to teach potions as Snape (Alan Rickman) has now taken over as professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) now teams up with Dumbledore in order to try and weaken Voldermort's powers and try to stop him for good.

I love the focus on Dumbledore in this film. Before, he had been nothing more than a secondary character that didn't really impact the plot much. Now, he is a primary character who is basically the secondary hero in this film (Ron and Hermione who?). The perils that Harry and Dumbledore go through during the film are also inventive and even scary at times (expect a jump scare...I'm not saying where and when). I also enjoyed the character of Slughorn and it's a shame that he only just appeared. I wish he was in the series before so we could get to know the characters more.

On the opposite end of the scale, certain characters have been made worse. The whole Malfoy family have been made more into tragic characters who are doing things they don't want to. Why? The charm was how despicable these characters were. Don't ruin a great thing. I guess Belatrix replaces them but who really cares about her (apologies to all Bealtrix fans out there).

The build up towards the finale is great and is why Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a pretty good iteration to the franchise. The twist at the end is great and there is more humour in this film courtesy of Slughorn and Ron (Rupert Grint). It feels like an old Harry Potter film again! Two more films and we're done! WE'RE DONE FOR GOOD! I can FINALLY review new films that I missed. It feels good to be almost free again.

A great way to bring us into the finale and more focus on Dumbledore is a great thing.

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