It’s been a while now since I saw the movie (I’m on vacation) but I didn’t want to let an HP milestone go by without some comment on this blog. For those of you not Potter afficienados, Half-Blood Prince is the second to last book in the Potter series and (because they are making two movies out of the last book) the third to last movie. This year, Harry returns to school as the war between the bad wizards (released from prison in the previous movie) and the good wizards (namely the previous movie’s eponymous Order of the Phoenix) is heating up. This movie opens with some amazing scenes of destruction as poor little London is mangled by evil magic — I especially love how they twisted and rippled the Millennium Bridge (which I always thought felt very unsafe to walk across even without evil spells being tossed at it).
Back at Hogwart’s school, Harry is tasked by headmaster Dumbledore to win the favour of new potions teacher Prof. Slughorn in order to manipulate from him some important information about Lord Voldemort — the head baddie that they are all eager to defeat.
While any Potter film is better than most films (in my book), I found this episode suffering from some poor direction from David Yates. The story seemed to be chopped in bits between the teen romances that were cropping up like weeds (look how silly teens are with their hormones) and the seriously dark stuff brewing with Draco Malfoy, and the new element of potions class and the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. I’d read also that the original print of the film had some slightly too inventive colouring, so they had to recolour the film. Now I think it’s all too muted dark blue throughout.
Overall, this movie felt too much like they were just trying to get through the material as they approach the finale. I would have preferred a greater sense of mystery about the dangers around, and also less ridiculousness around the teen-friendly storylines. (4 out of 5)