Review: Harry Potter 6

I went and saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at a midnight showing and had a great time. The people who go to those midnight releases are the biggest Harry Potter fans and we all revel in each others nerdiness. The experience was fantastic the movie,however, was just okay. It was by no means bad, but it wasn’t great. Some people have been saying that HP6 is the best film so far and I have to disagree. I would say that it’s more like 4, 5, and 6 are all on the same level for me. While I enjoyed certain parts of each film, I also had problems with them also.

I’m going to go into a more spoilerific review below but basically, should you go see this film? Hell yes. If like me you are able to handle the fact that the movies are never going to be quite what you want, then you should have a great time. The key with the Harry Potter films is not to expect too much from them, instead just enjoy in the experience.

If you want a more in depth review complete with spoilers follow with me…


SPOILERS!

Let me start this off by saying that I did not reread the novel before I went and saw this movie. I did this on purpose because I feel that when you do that you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. For instance when we got out of the theater my friend (love ya Mu) vehemently complained about the absence of Rufus Scrimgeour, the new Minister of Magic, in the film. I, myself, had totally forgotten that he was in the 6th book. My friend went on to say that she was hoping for the scene between Harry and Scrimgeour when Harry says that he is Dumbledore’s man through and through. Now, was that an amazing part of the novel? Definitely. Did it need to be in the movie? No. I am begging HP fans, while watching these films, never ever set your hopes on a certain scene or worse a certain line, because chances are you will end up disappointed. Like I mentioned earlier, I go to these films simply to enjoy them with no illusions that they will ever be able to accurately represent the amazingness that is J.K. Rowling.

Going through this film I had problems with some plot points and sequencing but, overall, I did think that they missed any part of the book that HAD to be in there. I know this is somewhat controversial since you might have noticed the completely new added attack on the burrow and the completely missing battle at the end. Let me say, I approved of the changes but not necessarily how they were carried out. Let’s start with why they made the changes. Yates, the director, made a very valid argument concerning redundancy. There is a rather large battle in Hogwarts in both the 6th novel AND the 7th novel. Now in a book an author is able to describe each of these battles in different ways to make them exciting, but in a movie this is much much more difficult. Yates explained understandably that if they included the battle at the end of the 6th film it would only take away from the huge confrontation at the end of, what will now be, the 8th film, Deathly Hallows Part 2. I have to say while I was disappointed; I understand where Yates is coming from. This also explains the attack on the burrow. Since he took the big battle out at the end, he then felt that the movie was lacking some action. He also mentioned that quite often in the books the trio heard about different horrible things happening, not only just in the wizerding world, but also to families of Hogwarts students. Again, this is something difficult to get across in a film. To solve both of these issues he decided to add the attack on the Weasely’s house. The scene both added action but also brought the terror of Voldemort’s return closer to home for the characters and the audience.

Now, like I said, while I understand Yates reasons, that doesn’t mean I approve of how he carried them out. Starting with the attack on the burrow my biggest question was, why? I knew that this scene had been added before I saw the film and I wasn’t that upset about it. There were a few pictures of Greyback and I thought that Yates would use this opportunity to, not only introduce the scary werewolf, but maybe we would even get to see a confrontation between him and Lupin. Yeah, that so did not happen. Actually not much happened at all. Bellatrix and Greyback showed up, Harry ran after them like an idiot, and they destroyed the burrow. Did the Death Eaters have a plan? Were they there for a purpose? Didn’t they know that there would be half a dozen Order members inside the house to defend themselves? I don’t know because it was never explained! I honestly wouldn’t of minded this scene if say, Greyback grabbed Ginny and threatened to bite her, but then Lupin jumped in and there was a tussle! And then the Death Eaters were outnumbered so they booked it but not before destroying the burrow in retaliation. At least that’s how I wanted it to go. It was also odd that there was no repercussions. The next scene was pretty cheery and neither Ron or Ginny ever mentioned or seemed sad that their childhood home and all of their belongings were destroyed.

Moving on to the other big change, let’s start by just talking about Draco Malfoy in general. I thought that Tom Felton did a very good job. As far as his character and his acting, I thought it was top notch. I also very much enjoyed the sectumsempra scene, but was once again surprised that there seemed to be no repercussions for Harry. Um hello, he just almost killed someone! But apparently being kind of sad about it was enough. What I did not like about Malfoy’s role in the movie was they made it very extremely clear what his plan was. In the novel you knew Malfoy was up to something, but you had no idea what. While it seemed somewhat plausible that Draco could have cursed Katie Bell and poisoned that bottle, there was no real proof. Most of the novel I was tired of Harry complaining about it. In the movie, however, they not only showed every single time that Malfoy was in the room of requirement, but also mentioned the vanishing cabinet at least twice in outside conversation. You had to be completely dense if you weren’t able to figure out that Draco was going to sneak the Death Eaters into the castle. They even showed Bellatrix heading to Borgin and Burkes near the end. I really hope that Yates wasn’t expecting anyone to be surprised that the D.E. were in the castle or that Draco used the vanishing cabinet to do it, cause damn it was shoved down the audiences throats.

As far as taking out the big battle this didn’t bother me, however logically, it made absolutely no sense. The reason there was a battle in the first place was because seven Death Eaters can not randomly be sneaking around the castle with out anyone noticing. Where were the teachers? Where were the students? There’s no way in hell that no one saw them! Especially after Dumbledore died, Bellatrix was going all crazy destroying the great hall and Hagrid’s hut but again no one noticed! Yates choice to add or change certain scenes was fine, his explanations, however, sucked.

I also wanted to mention the choices made in ending the film in general. The problem with the story in the 6th book is that the climax greatly relies on the shock of Dumbledore’s death and that fact that Snape is the one who commits it. If you already know that this happens, as like 95% of the audience did, there’s nothing all too exciting about it. Dumbledore’s death was extremely sad and I did get a bit teary, but to a Harry Potter fan it didn’t really serve as a climax. More then that, Yates ended Half-Blood Prince in a different way then all the other films in that it was very open ended. While this doesn’t leave the audience with a big cheery ending, it does set the mood for what will be the finale of the last two films. The last scene wasn’t so much an end as it was a beginning to the 7th film.

I do want to add this review on a happy note so let’s talk about something I greatly enjoyed, the acting.  Ron under the love potion was excellent, and the choice to make Harry act like a pot head while under the effect of Felix Felicis, while not entirely accurate, was freaking amazing! In this movie even the more minor characters were impressive including Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown, Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy, and Frank Dillane as the teenage Tom Riddle. Even though each of these actors weren’t in that much of the movie they really impressed me, and brought a lot to their scenes.

All in all this movie was good but not great. I can’t say I was disappointed however, it wasn’t anymore or less then what I expected.

What did you guys think?

GS Reporter: CTesdahl

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2 comments

  1. I think this is the best Harry Potter movie yet, much darker than the previous ones

  2. Why Yates?! /

    O.k to begin, in the begining when Dumbledore was making his yearly announcements you SAW! 2 aurors pacing outside the great hall. This SHOWS that Hogwarts was being protected. to have Bellatrix just come in there and tear up the place is outrageous, where was Hagrid? where was proffesor McGonagall? where were the aurors!!? There was no way in hell that after Dumbledores death security jus vanished!

    To me it seemed like Yates felt like he had to compete with Twilight and New Moon. He put so much emphasis on the teen relationships and not the story line. Yates come on man Harry vs Edward? Harry wins everytime we established that when Cedric Diggory Died. kudos to hp4 AMAZING MOVIE.

    At the end i think it was appropriate to have Dumbledores funeral with past characters. He could of played around with it so much like having fleur and Bill standing next to each other with engagement rings. Krum returning and his academy to pay his respects.and etc.

    I understand he took out the battle to anticipate the one in hp8 but that added scene was so dirty. The plot was so messy to that scene, and again the end when they are escaping did not make sense.

    Yates im sorry but if i wasnt a die hard fan i would say you nearly massacred the book with that movie. and this was my favorite book. If it wasnt for the great acting of the stars and the side plots this movie would have been a mess.

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