Movie Title: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2009)
From the outset of this review, let it be stated that I am at a disadvantage in reviewing the film at hand. For one thing, I haven’t seen all of the previous five Harry Potter films, nor have I read any of the books (nor will I because I don’t want to). Sure, like every self-respecting, depressed, middle-aged guy with a gut and a bad sex life, I’ve flipped through channels long enough to catch some memorable shots of Emma Watson. Many of them stayed with me through the wee hours of an idle morning, but I’ve not invested myself into absorbing what makes Harry Potter Harry Potter.
And for another thing, I’m not a teen, and so don’t let it flip your lid that I’m not into teen romance. I’m not done admiring fine-looking women in clothes, since (to my disappointment) women aren’t going to quit wearing them anytime soon, but the dynamics of teen social life – whether they be of a smarter UK-based youth or not – don’t do anything for me. For these two reasons, getting my brain into the Harry Potter points of interest is somewhat of an uphill battle—except for Emma Watson as Hermiones Grainger (“Hormones” Grainger as some of us guys like to call her). I can – and would – get into her just fine!
For only brief, fleeting moments was I interested in what was transpiring on screen. Incredible graphics with resoundingly convincing props lure you in, but nothing stands ready to hold you in. The movie has no seatbelts…or doors. If it were a car, you could fall right out of it if making a turn at a speed greater than 25 miles an hour—and 25 miles an hour is about the speed at which the plot moves along. It’s terribly boring, right near out-of-this-world boring. And it’s bland, with the spiciness of a weak soap opera (a soap opera without the tied-up, hot, crying Latina women).
For short stretches of time, you begin to get interested in Lord Voldemort and his dark minions and sinister plans. Then the whole mess gets done with the laundry of more washed-up teen romance, which – interestingly – is accompanied by plenty of scenes with kids flying around on broomsticks that look shockingly like 24-inch dildos being grabbed tightly during the act of chubby-choking. Seriously, I think they meant to put those in there! I think it’s a stab at the whole project, an inside joke. It’s just too bad Grainger wasn’t riding one!
Formerly stated disadvantage notwithstanding, Joe E. Holman is man enough to say what needs to be said; unless you’re into heavy teen romance (or perhaps you just like to get your visual jollies seeing Emma Watson), don’t see this. It’s a half-baked piece of crap more than it is about a half-blood prince. And why see it when recent puberty graduate Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a wuss and can’t stand up to anybody without the help of super wizard Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)? I’ll bet 10 to 1 that Radcliffe and Gambon only came back for the sequel for the same reason they did all the others—to seize the opportunity to corner Watson in her trailer and make some of their own magic.
And while I am willing to accept that there no doubt came and went many nuances of the plot that I didn’t and wouldn’t understand, having not seen the earlier films, the movie made no attempt to explain anything. Too much was lost on me, and what did connect was so far away in it’s getting to that there was hardly a point. Besides, I didn’t get to see much of Emma or her cute little frame. That being the case, I ask you: WHAT IS THE POINT???!!!
Grade: D+ (1 ½ stars)
Summation: As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously "This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.
Director: David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe “Harry Potter,” Michael Gambon “Professor Albus Dumbledore,” Dave Legeno “Fenrir Greyback,” Jim Broadbent “Professor Horace Slughorn,” Geraldine Somerville “Lily Potter,” Bonnie Wright “Ginny Weasley,” Julie Walters “Molly Weasley,” Rupert Grint “Ron Weasley,” Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”
Genre: Adventure / Romance / Fantasy / Mystery