By Nathan Schwartz
July 29, 2009 - 12:30
The story is not easy to explain because I don’t think the movie itself knew what the story was. I mean, the novel was called The Half Blood Prince, but it was in no way the underlying theme of this movie. There is a mention of it at the beginning because Harry, in his infinitely coincidental life, picks up the one copy of a textbook that has the name “The Half Blood Prince” scribbled on the inside cover. Hermione and Ron begin to worry about Harry’s growing dependence on the book, which could be quite an interesting plot, and if that were the course of the rest of the film I might have been intrigued. However, after twenty minutes or so the whole debacle is pushed aside and the movie turns into a half decent love story, which in itself only lasts about forty-five minutes. But that is also not so bad. If the movie focused on those two stories, I might have retained some form of interest. Unfortunately, a third plot emerges where Harry is ordered to become friendly with a returning professor to gain insight into his past, namely his relationship with young Voldemort. And, of course, Dumbledore dies!
The problem, I found, was that the movie kept on jumping around. It would focus on one story, but then it would lose interest and jump to another, as though it suffered from severe ADD. It felt so unbalanced, so, if I may, higgledy-piggledy. Nevertheless, seeing as how the movie was over two and a half hours long, something must have happened of some substance right? The answer: I do not know!
I sat through the entire thing and have very little understanding of what went on. Granted I am not well versed in the Harry Potter universe, but what happened in the movie was not well explained, leaving me questioning nearly every step of the way, why is he/she/they doing this? For example, at one point Harry and Dumbledore are trying to find a horcrux (which they never sufficiently explained, but I will get to that in a minute), when they hit a snag and Dumbledore must drink a bowl of this strange liquid in order to acquire the object. Apparently the liquid acts as a kind of force field, preventing anyone from just reaching in and grabbing whatever is contained within it. Furthermore, the liquid causes the drinker to suffer quite adverse side effects. The obvious question arises, why must it be drunk? All Dumbledore said was that he had to drink it, but he never explained why that was the only method of emptying the bowl from the liquid. I am sure it was mentioned in the book, but I was quite confused.
With regards to the horcrux, if they are the way to destroy Voldemort, why not focus on them to begin with? Why go through six books of dangerous, seemingly pointless adventures, if the only way to kill him is by destroying these objects? This is the most important part, the way to successfully destroy the bad guy, and it is only mentioned six books/movies into the series. Seems kind of stupid to me. Though I am sure there is a reason for this that some Harry Potter loving friend of mine will ever so happily elucidate for me. But, as I said earlier, I don’t honestly care.
The only aspect of the film I was able to follow was the love story. It contained two separate love circumstances, Harry and Ginny, and Hermione and Ron, and though they were wrought with platitudes, they were at least somewhat tolerable. Aside from that, the only other thing that kept me from falling asleep was Emma Watson. She grew up to be quite the looker!
From a cinematic perspective, the movie was also disappointing. Scenes dragged on for far too long, music and cinematography were nothing special, and though there were some visually pleasing scenes, it was not nearly enough to keep me from head bobbing. I was hoping to see cool magic fights, maybe some glorious mythical creatures, explosions, car chase scenes, anything to keep me entertained, but no. There were a few points where wands were used in battle, but they were dull and short lived.
I probably should have forewarned that the fans of the series would probably not want to read this review. For that, I do apologize. However, for the rest of you out there who, like me, don’t care much at all for this cash cow of a franchise, do yourself a favor and forget this movie even exists.
Rating: 2 /10