Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

There will be two groups that will go see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this week: fans of the ridiculously popular franchise, and those who know of Harry Potter but aren't necessarily fans -- I am the latter.

Published July 15, 2009

harrypotter There will be two groups that will go see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this week: fans of the ridiculously popular franchise, and those who know of Harry Potter but aren't necessarily fans -- I am the latter. I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie in full.  I can only hope that the previous incarnations of the four-eyed hero are more interesting than this unmoving tale of magic and teenage hormones.

Let's start with the good; yes, the film looks beautiful -- exquisite cinematography and otherworldly special effects. The director, David Yates , who also directed the last Harry Potter , created a film that is stylistically dark yet beautifully mystical.

The actors are all strong and even though Daniel Radcliffe will be out of his teens next week and has performed naked on Broadway, he still captures the essence of childlike Potter.

Now, on to everything else – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince must be riding off its name because the film clearly does not stand alone from the franchise. The yawn-fest storyline is stunted with lovesick teens who throw potions together and Potter as the "chosen one" who must save the world. An uninformed audience member is left with a movie that feels like 90210 meets Mr. Wizard .  I'd rather watch David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear repeatedly for 153 minutes than endure this flick's trite magic tricks.

Speaking of 153 minutes -- 2 hours and 33 minutes for a fantasy-adventure film?  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince felt like a mini-series stuffed into a movie theater. Repeatedly, Hollywood seems hell-bent on epic running times for films that don't deserve it – The Godfather , Citizen Kane and The Color Purple should be over two hours, not Harry Potter and Transformers .  There is something to be said for good editing.

Worst of all, Harry Potter is downright boring most of the time. Unlike Star Trek , you needed to know the epic history of the franchise to enjoy this film. While I am sure fans will be satisfied, Harry Potter will not transcend its core audience. Nonetheless, I could say Harry Potter is the anti-Christ and people would still love it.  Abracadabra -- Harry Potter will be #1 at the box office.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is in theaters today.

Written by Clay Cane

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