Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

(Warner Bros. 2 hours, 33 minutes. Rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality. Directed by David Yates.) Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn), Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), many, many others. Music by Nicholas Hooper.

They’re back, they’re bad, and they’re in love. Our favorite young wizards’ hormones run amok while Voldemort’s presence (although he doesn’t appear here as an adult) affects both the Muggle and wizarding worlds. Dumbledore prepares Harry for the final battle he knows is approaching, while Draco has some plans of his own. Oh, teenage angst! The sixth entry in the series amps up the comedy, romance, and the darker aspects of the story as well. Ron has a juicier part here than usual as he juggles a clingy girlfriend and his new role on the Quidditch team. Meanwhile Harry notices that Ron’s sister Ginny has grown up, and Hermione looks at Ron in a new and different light.

The rest of the gang, including Professor Snape (always my favorite), Bellatrix Lestrange, and Hagrid all get a turn. The most prominent new character is Professor Slughorn, the new potions master, recruited by Dumbledore to Hogwarts School in hopes of gaining crucial information. Purists will gripe that major scenes from the book have been cut out, and the ending is changed substantially. I can’t really say more! Look for Radcliffe at his funniest and Felton at his most (seriously) menacing. Overall, the movie holds enough interest and thrills for both camps (those who’ve read the books and those who follow Harry and company strictly on the big screen). Look for the final book, Deathly Hallows, in two parts: fall 2010 and summer 2011. They’re filming it now, and good thing: if the actors get any older, they’ll have to call it Harry Potter and the Midlife Crisis.

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