I want to start this review by saying that I like this movie, of all seven books this one was used mostly as set up for the finale, but David Yates changed that. I think by splitting the last book into two movies they created challenges for the Half-Blood Prince (HBP). ***BE AWARE THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW*** You’ve been warned.
I think the left out key HBP story lines so movie goers won’t forget what made Snape the HBP. Still with the glaring omissions of Snape’s past and memories I think cinematically this was the best looking and best acted of the Harry Potter series.
All of that being said let’s get to the movie. The kids (Daniel Radcilff, Rupert Grint & Emma Watson) have really come into their own as actors and making these characters their own. The link between these three characters was always strong in the book but the sincere affection these actors seem to have for each other translates through onto the screen in their scenes together. Ginny Weasley is another story all together Bonnie Wright has the obvious looks and we know she can act but her restrained performances seem out of character for Ginny. Ginny should be a larger than life character like Harry, we get a glimpse of this when she rushes off to danger following Harry to protect the Weasley’s home, but please Mr. Yates give us move of this, Ginny is a bad ass wizard stop telling us and show us.
The film itself is beautiful, the above mentioned scene when Harry and Ginny run off with abandon through the field was probably my favorite scene in the HBP. It felt so real you could almost feel the plants smacking you in the face as Harry and Ginny ran after Bellatrix Lestrange played by the wonderfully hot Helena Bonham Carter. This beat ends with the heartbreaking destruction of the Weasley home, again beautifully shot as the evil wizards “black smoke” through the house leaving it ablaze.
The last thing I want to talk about in this review is the death of Dumbledore. So this scene flashed me back to another Alan Rickman film, Die Hard. After the killing curse was cast by Snape and Dumbledore fell to earth, all I could see was Alan Rickman doing the same thing as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, I almost expected Snape to say “Yippie kai yeah….. (you know the rest it was a PG-13 movie). Saying that the death was powerful and I knew it was coming, yet I still felt myself well up. Great stuff.
Well there you have it, some of my thoughts about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Who… err Prince. I enjoyed this very much and I look forward to repeated viewings on the DVD, but this film is clearly a set up for the final two (not as bad as Pirate’s of the Caribbean 2 mind you) so I expect David Yates to bring the action and sacrifice in the next two that will end this series in a blaze of wand battles and tales of battling evil, redemption, love and friendship. Oh, and make sure to finally explain who the Half-Blood Prince is.