Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Impressively more serious.

The thing about film series with lengthy films is that you probably won’t have the motivation to go through them time and time again, regardless of how good or bad they are. It just takes a good chunk of your day away. That being said, the Harry Potter series is a series that I could easily see people take a day or two out of their week to have a Harry Potter marathon of sorts. Any series capable of doing that is extremely powerful on its own. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second film in the franchise, and for releasing simply one year after the previous installment, I was extremely impressed with it.

After hitting a number of curveballs attempting to keep Harry Potter away from Hogwarts this year, Harry decided to go anyways; he considers it his home, after all. It is there that he and the gang learn of a disastrous plot. The Chamber of Secrets has been opened and students are in danger of the monster that lies within. Can Harry Potter save the day again, or was the first film simply a lucky first try? Well given there are eight film, I would guess the formal, but what do I know?

I want to stress the fact that it has been one year. One. Suddenly the kids have deeper voices, can act more seriously, the CGI has greatly improved, the list goes on and on. I was very impressed. I wrote in the first film’s review how the kids were kids, and it was cute watching them as they tried to be serious. I still rated the film rather highly for almost a separate reason than this one. Now the kids have clearly had some acting coaching done, grown up a bit, and the film just improved more because the tone itself changed into something you would expect to see from a Harry Potter film, more dark.

The story itself was obviously already provided by J.K. Rowling, so that had nothing to do with the one year difference. That being said, the story in general I liked more, and I’ll tell you why. The first film lost a lot of great suspense and mystery in the first half of the film with pure character development. That’s great, it really is, because these characters and actors alike have tremendous chemistry. However, in Chamber of Secrets, the story was always about the chamber, and always about the snake – from beginning to end. It felt more complete while still maintaining that loveable friendly side to Potter’s character.

As always, what separates this film with the others is what typically pops out when recalling the film – What differs from The Chamber of Secrets is what follows:

  • The Big Snake
  • The Big Spider
  • Tom Riddle
  • Moaning Myrtle
  • The Flying Car
  • And Dobby’s introduction.

These six things will generally be the first things that come to mind when thinking of the second film. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish differences in the films, since all of the actors primarily stay the same and the structure is almost always identical, but there will always be a list of differences that pop out. I’ll always try to list those off when I can.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the film where all of the actors finally got a good feel of the story and were able to perform magnificently well. The story, structure, and pacing felt much more natural the second time around, and as always, gave us a reason to continue watching the series.

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