I don’t know if it’s just because I have read books 5 and 6 the least, and not recently either, but I thought that Half Blood Prince was the best Harry Potter film so far. Admittedly my judgement may be clouded by the fact that I was at an exclusive screening at the London Imax, and the first 15 minutes of the film (including the awesome London fly through) were in eye popping 3D!
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the 6th film of the series, and things are rapidly drawing to a close. I’ll ignore the plot in case there are people who have neither seen the film OR read the book – but suffice to say, a war is coming, and it won’t be pretty (hopefully it’ll be spectacular).
In my opinion each of the Harry Potter films has been better than the one before with the previous high point being Goblet of Fire. Not only has the filming and special effects improved (don’t remind me of the Quidditch from Philosophers Stone) but the acting has improved massively.
Half Blood Prince concentrates a lot on relationships and Harry, Ron, Hermione, and even Ginny, come out of it remarkably well. Harry does have a strange turn towards the end of the film where he looks like a bit of a gormless puppet after drinking a luck potion, but otherwise everything is played incredibly straight.
As I mentioned above, it may just be because I have only read HBP a couple of times, but the film seemed to flow a lot better than earlier movies. In the last couple of films I always got the impression that things were moving quickly in order to squash in as much of the book as possible, but I don’t feel that here. There were a couple of places where they took liberties with the story (the fire at the Weasleys? They’re a book early) but that makes it work better as a film. The only major point that was missing was Dumbledores funeral. The Phoenix flying away at the end was nice but I suspect that would be missed by many.
One part I am glad they kept in was the reference to RAB, if only because it was such a popular point of conversation when the book came out.
Apart from the obviously more adult tone there were one or two parts that I found a little disturbing, Katie Bell being hexed for examples, certainly the sort of thing I wouldn’t have liked when I was younger and I wonder if it’s the sort of thing young children would like these days (maybe I am just too soft).
Lord of the Rings fans will also be happy to see that Golum has finally found a new character to play. Unfortunately his part is brief and he is quickly burnt to a crisp.
Since seeing Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince I have seen all sorts of contrasting opinions. Personally I stand by the fact that it’s the best film so far, and I’d recommend it to any Harry Potter fans. Bring on the final confrontation!