Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince
1…2…3…4…5…and finally 6! Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince came to theaters on July 15 at 12:01. The long awaited continuation of the seven movie series premiered and as all the other movies before it, the 6th fell short. Very short of the expectations of avid Harry Potter fans. Dramatically shortened, lacking key information, and containing scenes completely unconnected to the book. I suppose it is unrealistic (after seeing the previous five movies) to expect the sixth to fill the rather large shows made my J.K. Rowling. But you would think they would make an attempt.
Contrary to the reviews of most newspapers I have read, I found the sixth movie to be just as bad as the 3rd and 5th (the 4th was tolerable.) My problems with this film begin with its lack of information and ends with it’s failure to capture the beloved characters that make the books.
If you hadn’t read the books than you would honestly have no idea what was happening. Each scene appeared completely unconnected to the last. They jumped quickly from one to another leaving only questions and confusion. I have read all the books and so obviously understood what should have been happening, but I could only pity the poor souls who went to the movie blind, having not every cracked open the book. How lost they must have been.
Even from a cinematic point of view this movie was less then passable. Sure it was visually stimulating with the intense scenes of Quidditch and computer generated destruction (the London Bridge, Diagon Alley, etc.) But looks can’t carry a movie. You easily become bored with flashy appearances, after all every other movie made in the 21st century uses them. A movie needs some substance, which Harry Potter 6 was obviously lacking.
So our favorite wizards are getting older and that opens a whole new area for the exploration of romance. But this movie took it to the extreme. The sexual innuendoes were off the scale. In the books the romance has something pure and adorable, but in the movie it was about as basic and sex oriented as they could make it. The seductive way that Jinny tied Harry’s shoe, with just her and his crotch in frame, was nauseating. And Ron running up to Harry saying “So did you guys do it?” meaning: “Did you guys throw away the potions book?” Its quite clear what reaction that line was intended to get.
Finally the characters, which they butcher every time. My dear Dumbledore, what did they do to you. I know that J.K. Rowling announced that she always thought of him as gay (personally I was going for asexual) but I can see that orientation too. However this movie really latched on to that description and made him quite a bit to familiar with Harry. Not to say in an inappropriate manner, but in the books he kept his distance. Overall the only characters I really enjoyed were Hagrid and Ron. Both underwritten and under-used in the story, but definitely the most interesting and unique.
However it wasn’t all bad. I will end with a few complements. The scene with the horcrux and the inferi captured the haunting darkness of the situation and was perhaps my favorite part of the film, excluding Ron of course. The inferi especially were terrifying. I jumped near out of my seat when they first appeared despite the fact that I knew they were coming.
So go see Harry Potter and the Half Blood there isn’t really a way to avoid it. Its going to be talked and you wouldn’t want to be left out of the discussion. Maybe you will like it more than I.
Hopefully the seventh is better (after all it comes in two installments.) But my hopes aren’t high.