Thursday, August 13, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009) 8/10


Directed by David Yates, the latest installment in the Harry Potter series is a character driven, well designed, devoid of too many over the top action sequences which both helps and hurts the film.

David Yates is unquestionably given a daunting task. It's his job to direct the final 4 films which has seen 3 different previous directors, each with their own emphasis, each of whom has left out crucial characters/developments in their films. Now tasked with bringing it all together in order to push to the final film (done in 2 parts), Yates decides to fall back on old school character driven drama, the highlight of the film. While this move hasn't been met with much praise outside the Harry Potter fans realm, it delivers a satisfying journey of our main characters as they have to deal with not only what lay behind, but more importantly what lies ahead.

By concentrating solely on the characters, Yates removes what little action there was to begin with from Half Blood Prince, and allows us to really spend time with these characters. Now not all of them are put quite as heavily on display as the central Potter gang, but what we are given is an enjoyable, dark, and often funny, film that puts on display how much these actors have grown throughout the years.

Due to the nature of the task though, the movie comes in at a long 2 hours and 30minutes with a bit of a dry streak towards the middle in which we are forced to watch these character's actions with the knowledge that much of it is setup, and not always as well expressed as it should be. Yet the strength of the characters counters these slow moments, and the desire to see what happens to them, because they are easy to care for, makes it all worth watching.

Ultimately though even these minute negative aspects can't take away from a truly genuine and fun film, well worth your time and money.

3 better thoughts:

Chase Kahn said...

The Harry Potter films are still grade-A family entertainment, but I think they really dropped the ball on the ending here. It feels insignificant and cold. There's 2 hours of set-up and then...done.

Univarn said...

I dunno I kind of liked the ending, it was definitely a movie building up for the next one so once that had been setup it had accomplished all it needed to. There was a couple of things I wouldn't have minded if they had handled a bit better, but I didn't leave the movie with a bad taste in my mouth and that's how I usually judge endings.

Max said...

Hey Ryan! I just got one of these blogs, so our old RT gang is re-uniting. :) Glad you liked the movie...I've seen it 5 times and counting! :)

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