Film Reviews

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

By • Jul 15th, 2009 •

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Should kill the franchise. Too many foolish, ancient wizards and HP, Hermoine and Ron are shallow extras. A crushing, muddy bore.

If you are not a fan of the books, this one is a crushing bore! I was hoping for a real nasty wizard fight, now that HP has come of age, a Hogwart’s auto-da-fé or at least a Muggle burnt in effigy.

No such luck. Instead we have The Death Eaters 3 swirling through London destroying the Millennium Bridge. Does that set up the evil that is to come? Nope.

Does J.K. Rowling ever explain why wizards have unkempt too long, bushy beards? What’s up with that? Why is HP only wearing jeans and a hoodie now that he has accepted his role as The Chosen One? Neo went the Cossack Monk route after being The One Without A Second. Why is Hermoine so dull? Why is Ron such a loser? Shouldn’t an intern witch have a better wardrobe?

HP, Hermoine and Ron are background players: vapid window dressing without personalities. Did Rowling intentionally sabotage her Billionaire Goose or is director David Yates to blame? Most of the long film, these 3 stand around.

(Rowling must love Yates. This is his second Potter movie and he’s going to ruin the next 2.)

Once again, Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) plays the nosy aunt with a hair-brain scheme to enlist HP (Daniel Radcliffe) to seduce wacky wizard Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and teach the art of magic potions.

What happened to sexy wizards with big wands and temptress witches?

I liked Slughorn better as a loveseat.

Only HP can get Slughorn to reveal a secret about his former pupil Tom Riddle, who became the meanie Voldemort. (You’d be angry too if you lost your face in a bar fight!) This Riddle kid is the most interesting person in the movie. You could just tell, if his life’s path went another way, he would have grown up to be the UK’s Ted Bundy. But before we get to the wizard-works and whispered about soul-separating shenanigans, there is the dullness that is wizard teen romance by way of the Mormons. HP likes Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), but Ron keeps interfering. That boy is jealous, if you ask me.

Hermoine (Emma Watson) has an improbable crush on Beatle-haired Ron (Rupert Grint), who hasn’t yet been liberated himself from his awkward looking stage. And, for some unfathomable reason, Ron has a comedic stalker, Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave). She keeps mistaking Ron for a rock star. Fighting his homosexual love for HP, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) is still glowering. This kid needs some therapy or, may I suggest, Zoloft? The Dark Lord has assigned extra-credit work for Draco. It has something to do with a Vanishing Zero-Point Energy Cabinet that kills birds.

Finally, Draco’s nostril-flexing mother Narcissa Malfoy (Helen McCrory) goes to Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) and gets him to make an unbreakable vow to help her son achieve his purpose in life. The Dark Lord promised him a car. Mrs. Malfoy is aided by wild witch Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), also known around my house by the nickname Lucie “Mad Hair” Fur.

Too many old wizards and witches are back. Doesn’t anyone retire from Hogwarts or go on a cruise? In fact, the old-timer wizards are trotted out like Vegas has-been celebrity greeters. All that magic and not one beauty potion! These witches never heard of Botox or dermabrasion. Shame on them. I’m not impressed.

I don’t care what sacred ground I’m peeing on, this was one big yawn.

There is a final confrontation between Dumbledore, Malfoy and Severus, with Dumbledore preaching his insignificance in the wake of HP’s ascendancy to The Chosen One Throne of Nonsense.

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