Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)


Dave’s 3-Word Review
Well, I’m stupefied.

I’m pleasantly impressed. Six movies thus far, and each one is consistently amazing. In all aspects of the thing really; storytelling, visuals, acting, direction…each one was made incredibly well. I have never reviewed a series six movies in that stayed within 5% of each other in regards to rating, and that’s pretty huge. That’s partly why people might see this series as one that blends together – it does because the level of professionalism and superb filmmaking is equal among each film. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has a tagline of “Dark Secrets Revealed”, and yes, that is definitely a theme in this film, so let’s get on with it, then.

Harry begins his sixth year at Hogwarts meeting the new Professor of potions, Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) and falling into contact with a book of spells that was originally owned by somebody called “The Half-Blood Prince”. This book tells secrets of how to create potions and spells that the other books don’t begin to describe. Something is also up with Draco Malfoy, who seems to have been chosen to be a Deatheater. Meanwhile, Dumbledore gives private memory-lessons to Harry about the history of Tom Riddle. At the same time, love is in the air for everyone – Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginnie. How cute.

What’s interesting to note about this film is that is sidestepped from the usual routine. Usually, we are introduced to new and different things, but this time around, they used a majority of things we already knew about and bundled them together to further the overall story arch, which is respectfully a good idea. Here are the things you’ll most likely remember out this film the most:

  • Half-Blood Prince
  • Introduction to Horcux
  • Evil Snape
  • Evil Malfoy
  • Dumbledore’s Tom Riddle memories
  • Ron’s Love Triangle
  • Budding romance between Ginnie and Harry
  • Professor Slughorn
  • Vanishing Cabinet

How many of these things have either been seen before or at least hinted at? Evil Snape and Malfoy, Dumbledore’s memory vat, and Hermione’s feelings for Ron are a few things we’ve already at least guessed at. The new stuff was mainly The Half Blood Prince, Horcrux, Ginnie/Harry romance, Slughorn, and the Vanishing Cabinent. Of those new things, only a select few of them are of utmost importance – mainly speaking – Horcrux.

They primarily used ideas we’ve already had in order to further the general story…kind of like a “What the story has been leading up to” type of thing. By the way, that’s really the first time in the series that I’ve noticed that it’s really going somewhere. Before, you’re just like…eight movies until Harry fights Voldemort? Now you know it’s not just about him, and that the other key players are incredibly significant to get to that point. That makes the Harry Potter story more interesting and important in the long run.

In a previous film review, I stated how I wasn’t a huge fan of the story as much as I was the elements of the story. This was the exact opposite. I wasn’t a huge fan of the elements of the story as much as I was of the story itself. It makes me want to move onto the Deathly Hallows, which is what I consider effective filmmaking.

The only negative thing I really have to say about this film is that in the long run, it might be a more forgettable film in the franchise. Not as a whole. Like the others, the end was perfect. However, a majority of the film didn’t have that epic feeling the others have had. You can still enjoy it perfectly well, but when someone asks you what the movie was about. You might feel tempted to immediately say, oh that’s the one where so-and-so is The Half-Blood Prince, which by the way, spoils the whole thing. You might feel tempted to say as much because that’s the thing that sticks out the most.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a welcome addition to the franchise that furthers the most important aspect of the series, the prophesy.



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