Posted: 07/16/2009

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by Rick Villalobos




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Not much of a reader. Don’t know the lingo just yet. Well, it can be daunting. A quick course of wizardry 101 at the nearby community college might help. It is a new world filled with magic and wonderful creatures. Star Wars geeks you have been replaced. Light sabers are out. Wands are way cooler. Twilight fanatics the fat lady has sung. The Quaffel has been thrown. Duck! All of you pale neck nibblers and quickly. It is time to play a game of Quidditch and blood suckers are not allowed.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the sixth installment in the ever popular film franchise adapted from author J.K Rowling’s book series. Directed by David Yates, the Half Blood Prince, continues the story of the chosen one, Harry Potter, as he endeavors another year at Hogwarts while trying to stop the forces of evil from taking over the world.

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is all grown up and he is now a babe magnet. Who would have known? Witches dig scars and being known as the chosen one doesn’t hurt either. But Harry has other things on his mind than winning the heart of a few damsels. Dumbledore has a secret and the only one he can trust is Harry. Two words - Tom Riddle - the boy who would become Lord Voldemort is back. It is now left up to Harry and his fellow wizards to stop him.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a long film. It is 153 minutes of too much of anything. The world of magic is an intriguing place, but it’s just too darn long. It captivates like a love potion until it looses its effect. Fans of the book will see this film over and over again. Who can blame them? The film is beautifully shot and directed. The cast is brilliant. Yes, the sixth time is the charm.

Potter fans, don’t scream victory just yet.

Every adaptation has its flaws. It is a Hollywood curse and no magic potion or spell will ever break its end result. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince plays out like a scene from Dawson’s Creek with a lot of hocus pocus in between. No doubt it is Warner Bros. ill attempt at wooing Twilight fans back to the series. Fortunately, the romance doesn’t distract and is somewhat entertaining.

This film, if anything, is an introduction to the last two films of the franchise so, don’t be disappointed if the ending is a let down. And it is. Just remember there are two films left.

Rick Villalobos is a writer and film critic in Chicago.



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