Movie Review: "Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince"

I got off work early last night to see the midnight showing of the sixth "Harry Potter" movie. The theaters were absolutely packed; we had something like 8 showings at our cineplex. My sons and their friends showed a highly-refined sense of humor by going in costume -- associated with other movies. Most were Jedis, but others came as Captain Kirk and President Bush with brooms labeled "USS Enterprise" and "Air Force One", respectively. I can really appreciate this highly-developed irony among today's teenagers. I only wish I could have appreciated the movie more.


There were a lot of good things about the movie. They made a smart decision when they decided to aim the movie strictly at people who had seen the previous films and read the books, so they didn't bother explaining things for "newbies"; this gave them more time to tell the story. The performances were generally very good. The young actors are really growing into their craft, and the adults were, as usual, outstanding. The special effects were good, as were the set design and camera work. Overall, the technical portions were great; it was the screenplay adaptation from the book that caused a problem.

At the beginning, they cut out everything about Kreacher and Harry being Sirius Black's heir; I could understand that to a certain extent, since they replaced it with a new scene that helped foreshadow the teen romance aspect of the movie (which was a little overdone, but not exceedingly so -- I have to remember I'm not the target audience, so teenage girls might have liked that part of it). The fatal problem came at the end. Here's the director's "dilemma" - you're making an adventure film, and your source material features a climatic fight scene finvolving well-beloved characters in mortal peril. What would you do? Seems like a no-brainer to me. In this case, however, the director decided to cut it out completely; I can't understand that decision at all. What replaced it was so anti-climatic that it completely killed my enjoyment of the movie, even with the very-well done previous scene of Harry and Dumbledore finding the fake Horcrux. Up until the last sequence, I was prepared to give the film a 4 out of 5. The last 15 minutes, however, were so disappointing that I'm forced to give that part of the move "the finger" quite emphatically, reducing my overall rating to 2 hormonally-overdriven snogging teenagers out of five.