So we are now at the sixth part in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I’ve had so much fun doing it, partially because it gave me an excuse to revisit these movies that I grew up with. But also because I love talking about movies with you guys! Enough of that… let’s get into it!
Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”!
So Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, and things are a bit different. This time around Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) has asked Harry to try to get close to a teacher, specifically the new potions teacher Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), because he might have crucial information about a certain dark one. And this sets Harry off on a year of mystery, dark discoveries, and having to further head into maturity. And I was fully invested in the plot from start to finish. Out of all the movies it might be the least eventful, at least in terms of plot. There’s not too many things really happening, it’s more of a slow burn this time around… but I feel like that actually helped the movie. It’s really more of a slow and chilling mystery this time around… and I love that!
Since this movie has the least stuff going on plotwise in any “Harry Potter” movie, I was pleased that it at least decided to develop it’s characters even further. After everything that’s happened in the last movie, Harry is a broken man. You can tell that he still loves everything magic that he comes across, that awe has not left him yet… but he is more cold and serious, and Daniel Radcliffe once again owned the role. This was apparently the movie in the series he enjoyed doing the least, but you can still tell that he gave it his all. Ron got a little bit more development as well, and Rupert Grint was great in the role. Emma Watson as Hermione was also great again, with her character also getting some development. Dumbledore in this movie got quite a bit of screen time this time around and with that some great character development. And Michael Gambon knocked it out of the park. Draco Malfoy the last several movies has been more of a bully/comic relief, compared to the slimy asshole from the first two movies. But here he is a well developed and awful asshole. And Tom Felton gives a fantastic performance here! And also, we get some stuff with Alan Rickman (rest in peace, you awesome man!) that is really good, further developing his character showing his once again great performance. Also, I just wanna point out once again that Evanna Lynch as Luna… one of the best things to happen to this series! As for the rest of the returning cast… they’re great. So let’s talk about some of the newer additions. Like Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn. Yeah, he’s great. He might seem like a very whimsical character at first that has littel to nothing to add, but his importance in the story does eventually show itself and really, Broadbent was great. Freddie Stroma played a guy named Cormac, who was kind of a jock who seemed to have a bit of a crush on Hermione. And he was kind of a fun presence, especially any time he got a bit of a comeuppance. We also got Jessie Cave as a girl named Lavender Brown, a girl who for some unknown reason is infatuated with Ron. And she was fun. And that’s about it for actors worth mentioning… moving on!
The score was once again composed by Nicholas Hooper and I have to say that what he did with the music for this movie is an improvement over the stuff he provided for “Order of the Phoenix”. It’s often dark, gloomy, and outright chilling. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as great as the stuff the one and only John Williams provided for “Prisoner of Azkaban”, but it’s still pretty damn good. However, it seems like at least a piece or two never made it into the final movie. One such is “Wizard Wheezes”, an incredibly jazzy and awesome track that is both fun to listen to and also play on the trombone. However, I can’t remember hearing it anywhere in the movie. You’d think it would be in the scene where the characters visited the store “Wizards Wheezes”… but nope. So that’s sad. Oh well, at least the score we did hear in the movie was really good.
This movie like the previous one was directed by David Yates and he did a great job. It’s a very tightly direccted movie with plenty of good tension to it. Like I said, this movie feels more like a slowly moving mystery, and Yates’ direction is part of why it feels that way, which I love. And there really are some truly tense and amazing scenes. Like the scene in the bathroom with Harry and Draco. Or the scene with Harry, Dumbledore, and the spooky water. I’m trying to keep it vague in case anyone who hasn’t seen it (Presumably Morlocks) decides to stop by. Anyhow… the visual effects are pretty spectacular in this movie too. There’s also a scene in this movie that made me cry. Fans of the series will know what part I’m talking about. On a lighter note, have a fun fact: This is the only “Harry Potter” movie that I ever saw in theaters. I know, shame on me!
This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best cinematography.
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a fantastic movie, definitely one of the best movies in the series… at least in my opinion. It’s actually better than I remembered it being. It has a great plot, great characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and some great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Accio!*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
My review of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is now completed.
OH THE HORMONES!!!