Vail movie review: ‘The Half-Blood Prince’ is full of all we love
Vail, Co Colorado
It’s hard to scrutinize the new Harry Potter movie from a different angle other than that of a true, long-time fan, so, to those of you of the same ilk afraid that the film series’ ongoing integrity to its print counterparts may falter need not worry whatsoever.
The second to last of the chronicles (sure to leave you thirsty for the grand finale), “The Half-Blood Prince” begins with Professor Dumbledore and Harry Potter on a recruitment mission for an old potions teacher at Hogwarts School of Magic. Professor Slughorn brings a new brand of playing favorites among his students, while Harry, with the help of the textbook of a former student, becomes an instant champion, much to the chagrin of his two best friends – also maturing teenagers – Hermione and Ron.
As the evil Lord Voldemort is once again in the backdrop commanding his powerful alliance, Dumbledore brings Harry along for some reconnaissance work aimed at developing a better understanding of the dangerous antagonist, trying to pinpoint his weak spots.
With dark landscapes and spooky spells – not to mention half-decomposed corpses popping out of water and hexes that leave people bloody and twitching – it’s a little hard to rationalize the PG rating, but for adults and children not prone to fantastical nightmares, “The Half-Blood Prince” is deliciously eerie in all of its magic.
The pure British dialogue (from pure British actors, approved by book author J.K. Rowling herself) is remarkably authentic, replete with all sorts of references to garbage as “rubbish,” insults like “tosser” and “thick,” and a clever glance at teenage infatuations culminating with some inevitable “snogging.”
It’s impressive that such a foreign lexicon – and the film that comes with it – is so widely embraced by mainstream American audiences. Whether “The Half-Blood Prince” could stand alone as a five-star film to someone unfamiliar with the stories leading up to it and the characters involved is debatable, but even viewers who aren’t Harry Potter disciples will be swept away with the action, special effects and surreal allure.
Child actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have grown into their roles as Harry, Ron and Hermione as if they were part of their genetic programming and smaller roles are brimming with color thanks to the dynamic presence of actors like the ever-Goth Helena Bonham Carter.
The sixth Harry Potter film not only holds a candle to its predecessors but also offers a refreshing balance of love-potion humor and touching character secrets to balance the dark confrontations, frightening curses and death.
Sure, it leaves you hanging at the end, but how else is an entirely fresh slew of followers ever going to become newly addicted to the series? Or … maybe at this point everyone in the whole world is already a huge Harry Potter fan.