Review: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

Am I on crack or something? It seems I’ve pretty much dissented with every major critic on the summer blockbusters this year. The new Harry Potter movie follows this same trend.

I did not care for the movie at all.

Most of the critics praised the useless forays into budding teenage romance. Some even considered it, “A fitting transition leading to the final chapter of the series.”  I couldn’t disagree more. This should have been a story that stood on its own and yet maintained a steady world line.

For me, the highlights were few and far between, and I think this is the first movie out of all of them where I enjoyed the book more than I did the visuals.  I can’t look at a movie and give it my seal of approval for wonderful landscapes and cinematography. I can get those at my neighborhood science centers in their 3D or IMAX presentations.

I distinctly remember the Half-Blood Prince being a lot more poignant. We followed Harry as he immersed himself in the mysterious pages of a potion book and sniffed out the darker paths which would help rid both worlds of Voldemort.  This interpretation of Rowling’s work however,  should have really be entitled: Harry Porker, the Half-Assed Annoying Teenage Romance.

It’s almost like when they were writing the script, the powers that be were trying too hard to be like “Twilight”.  Oh woe be the love lives of horny teenagers in fantastic settings.

I’m sorry. I know that really wasn’t appropriate, but really, I mean, really!? I felt I spent half of the movie cringing at the triangle between Ron, Lavender and Hermoine.

Did Yates suddenly forget that Voldemort was back? I certainly did and that’s not a good thing if you ask me.

**spoilers ahead**

The thing that bugged me the most was that the altered potions text was a character itself in Rowling’s story. As soon as it was introduced in the novel, I instantly wondered who could have been behind the scribbles.

Yet, this script mentioned the actual Half-Blood Prince, like three times. There was no anticipation. There was no time devoted to finding out and there was certainly no magic.  After Dumbledore is killed, and Harry chases Snape from the castle with the rest of the Death Eaters, Snape’s like, “I’m the HBP.”

Cue Snape knocking down Harry and running away.

Yep. That’s pretty much it.

Despite Rickman’s talent, the line was meaningless because more than half the movie was dedicated to a flow chart depicting who was snogging who.

The only other highlight in this dreadfully flat flick was Draco Malfoy. Tom Felton has come a long way as an actor. Usually, I want to punch him in the face with his overacted lines, but he played the part of unwilling minion perfectly. Despite the years of torment he’s poured upon Potter, I actually felt for him at the end. So Kudos, Mr. Felton on a job well done.

As the entire world knows, Dumbledore bites it in the end by the hand of Snape. Those of you who know the motivation revealed in Book 7, understand the climax. Yet, the way this was filmed, I felt nothing. I was expecting to tear up and blubber when one of the greatest wizards of all time was dispatched so violently.

Hell, I cried when Gandalf fell.

Ultimately, I think I was missing immersion in the story.  I kept looking at my watch, wondering when the movie would be done.

I missed the wonder. I missed the fear that spreads in the wake of a terrible foe. I missed the magic.  I might be leaving this one off my collection when it comes out to DVD.

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