Director: David Yates
Stars: Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris.
Synopsis: The sixth movie in the series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. As Harry begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as ‘property of the Half-Blood Prince’ and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort‘s dark past.
Review: The origins of Lord Voldemort, starting with him as a child named Tom Riddle. He was a diamond in the rough that would be shaped into the King of Darkness. With out the proper guidance he became the most malicious dark over Lord known to existence. Fast forward to this film. Dumbledore and Harry devise a plan to uncover the hidden evil network of Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore is the master mind and Harry is the agent working on Dumbledore’s plans. The two managed to thwart the evil Lord’s attack previously but at a very high price. Hermione and Ron act as Harry’s emotional support as usual. Ron is having girl troubles which is very funny. Both Hermione and Ron have a story arc that is connect to each other. Something about some love potion silliness. Apparently Ron is a hot topic among the girl wizards to the point where they are giving him love potions without his knowledge and like the clumsy klutzs he is, he manages to mess even that up! Yeah I guess we can say that Hermione is jealous that all of these girls are after Ron. Of course this whole thing scares Ron to the point where he feels a though the girls in Hogwarts are trying to poison him. Wow Ron, you have a way with women.
Dumbledore has to be one of the most incompetent ‘Adults’ I have ever seen in a movie besides ‘ Henry Herschel ‘ ( Jason Sudeikis ) in the film The Book of Love (2017). He just lets bad wizards into Hogwarts repeatedly with out proper screening, almost getting the students killed on multiple occasions. So Dumbledore meets this kid name Tom Riddle. This kids can move objects with his mind and talk to snakes way before the time of Harry. So what does Dumbledore do? He teaches this kid how to perform magic. Really!? Seriously? Dumbledore does not know who this kid is going to be when he grows up? No magic can show Dumbledore? And what about the time travel technology that was shown in a previous movie that Hermione was using? There is no variation of the sort to let Dumbledore see what the probable out come was going to be? Nothing can let him see the future? Not even the leaves in a tea cup? Dumbledore is a grown man who should know people by know. So Dumbledore trains the most sinister and malicious dark evil over Lord of all time? Getting multiple people murdered and leaving Harry an orphan. Who let this guy keep his job? That level of incompetence is really impressive. One would think that maybe Dumbledore would see where this child was heading as he grows into a young man like any normal adult would by keeping an eye on him and seeing what direction Tom Riddle was heading, leading him away from the path of darkness, but no. Dumbledore successfully allows Tom Riddle to become Lord Voldemort. So Draco Malfoy is suppose to be special or something in this film? Any rational wizard society would have come together and bound this fool up in a magical straightjacket and let him bounce around the walls of a rubber room inside a magical mental facility for all eternity, but this peroxide addicted Emo gets to walk around as though he is some how significant, when we all know good and well that he should be on anti-psychotic potions prescribed to him by Snape.
This film reminds me of a movie called The Recruit (2003) where Harry acts as a agent working for Dumbledore undercover to find out valuable intelligence on Lord Voldemort’s underground network of sinister dark wizards. In fact there is one scene where Harry is talking to George Weasley ( Oliver Phelps ) in a green house and tells Harry that he sent an agent to find out why Draco Malfoy is so interested in a particular magical object. He uses the term ‘ agent’ as though he is some kind of handler for a CIA NOC ( Non Official Cover-operative ). You can see that there are moves and counter moves all through out this movie. Snape is working behind the scenes on his own master plan. The target? Draco Malfoy. Harry is not sure if Snape is a turn coat, a double agent, or trying to turn Malfoy into some kind of informant. I can see that this film has similar elements to CIA movies like The Good Sheppard (2006), The Recruit (2003), and Nothing but the truth (2008). The movie takes that subtle approach to intelligence gathering unlike the previous films that are more adventure and mystery based. This is a very interesting turn for a Harry Potter movie. I can see this is not just a children’s movie franchise. The stories are becoming much more advanced. The battle scenes are in the same vain as a ambush in a CIA film. The enemies goal is to lure Harry into a bad situation in order to engage him in combat as a distraction while Harry’s enemies accomplish another goal out of his sight. Deception is a major factor here. One scene where the Wealsey family home is attacked is within the same vain as Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. According to Sun Tzu, all war is based on ‘deception’ and Bellatrix Lestrange is following that rule very well. From the use of fire in battle, to attacking from all sides, to targeting Harry’s mind with taunts of Sirius Black’s murder, and trickery in the battle field, Bellatrix Lestrange does a solid job at warfare. She is a very worthy opponent.
This film develops the characters well. You get to see their logic, how they think, and feel. The movie does not over use battle scenes but rather tells a subtle story with lots of layering. I could spend all day referencing all the similarities of the mentioned CIA films, from the ambush attacks and how the enemies true goal is hidden behind the surface, to how nothing is what it seems, to the network of darkness Lord Voldemort has grown while he was away, to human nature, and deception. The film seems slow at first but when you see what’s happening you realize how much layering the story has. The cinematography makes you feel like your in a day of the life of Harry Potter. The camera positioning focuses more on the actors facial expressions. You get to see what the characters are feeling without some long winded dialog. Doing this makes the characters feel more natural and real, like your standing in the room with them. Their was one scene where Draco Malfoy was very upset in the Boys restroom in front of the sink looking in the mirror and it seems like you your self could have just walked in on him. That’s not very common for a Harry Potter movie to have an almost documentary like feel to it. Even the Battle scenes feel more realistic, the way the camera follows Harry during an attack, makes it seem like he is in real danger and could die. Of course he won’t, he is wearing ‘plot armor’ after all, we already know that, but I find the camera work to be a welcome change for this movie series.
This was good! I have to say I was a bit surprised to see how well they did with this movie. From the background with the set dressing, to the camera work, the focus on the actors talents with subtlety, and the character development. I though they did very well with this movie. The creators of this film used a lot of stories telling elements such as planting and payoff, multiple story arcs, bait and switch, etc. One of my top picks for a Harry Potter movie.
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