Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Happened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince?

Before going into my review of this film, let me first say that I am arguably one of the biggest Harry Potter fans ever. I even named my dog, Hermione, after on of the main characters in the series. I love the books and I love the movies and usually I am able to look at each of them as two separate entities so I am not hard on the movies like most of the readers are; however, this film is the rate exception to my rule.

Let’s focus on the things that were good in the film before we get into my critiques.

First of all, the chemistry between Rupert Grint and Emma Watson was amazing. The film did a great job of showing the budding romance between Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. The jealously, the tension, the confusion, the longing was all very well played. These two actors did their jobs perfectly!

Secondly, this is the first time that I actually enjoyed Michael Gambon’s performance as Professor Albus Dumbledore. Until this film, in my opinion, he never compared to the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris, but this time he did the character justice.

Finally, the special effects just keep getting better and better with each film that comes out.

Now onto the parts that make you wonder, did the director, screenwriter, and/or producer actually read the book before writing the script?

Okay, the film is titled Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, right? If not, then they have a whole lot of merchandising mistakes they need to fix. But who is the Half Blood Prince? Well if you watch the movie you wouldn’t even know he was that important of a character because he is barely seen, much less mentioned. And why is he so important? Who would know? The movie sure doesn’t explain that so, you are going to be lost unless of course you actually read the books.

On top of that you were supposed to see Dumbledore and Harry reliving memories from certain events that involved “He Who Must Not Be Named,” otherwise known as Lord Voldemort or by his muggle name Tom Riddle. There were only two instances in the film where Harry and the headmaster actually take a dive in the pensive (where Dumbledore places his memories so he can revisit them) and stroll around to see what they can learn about their evil nemesis and there is only one of those instances that actually pushes the plot forward! There should have been several of these scenes because some extremely crucial things were left out that will be in the next two films. In other words, by cutting these scenes the next two films will not make sense not to mention that it aided in confusing the heck out of the audience in this film. It was as if the director only put those two memory walks in the film just to say “Hey, look at the cool special effects we can do at Industrial Light and Magic!”

There was also a scene in the film that was not in the book that made absolutely no sense and it will also cause more problems for the next two films. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind when extra things are added to the films if they advance the plot or make things more fun. A good example of that would be in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. They added a scene where Professor McGonagall teaches the Hogwarts students to ballroom dance. Not only was it funny to see Ron have to dance with McGonagall, but you also get to see a side of Neville Longbottom that you have never seen before. The added scene in this movie was so not needed nor was it entertaining.

The biggest problem with the film though, was the ending. This is where I was so glad that I had read the book before I had seen the film because the movie was so anticlimactic. The only way I can explain how badly they ended this movie is to compare it to another film, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The fight scene between Yoda and Count Dooku in that film made the movie. People cheered, got out of their seats and clapped and everyone left the theater feeling fulfilled and totally pumped after seeing Yoda kick some major butt.

This is how you should have felt at the end of the Half Blood Prince. Not! Who needs and ending like that? I mean if people are that pumped when they leave a theater it could cause mass hysteria. Some could have heart attacks, aneurisms, or possibly seizures. I mean the makers of this film were thinking of the public’s well being when they chose to cut the amazing battle between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix. Not to mention cutting the pivotal battle between Harry and Professor Snape. I mean who needs to see something as cool as that? Umm, ME! I would even go so far as to say EVERYONE AT THE MIDNIGHT SHOWING OF THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE WANTED TO SEE THAT! We need the Yoda fight! We need to see McGonagall kicking some major Death Eater butt! Yet, Harry Potter fans everywhere were left wanting.

Finally and hopefully without ruining the movie for you, or at least more than it already is, there is one more detail that was left out that should have been included. Harry, Hermione, and Ron all inherit something from someone’s will at the end of the book, alas, it is not in the film so one can only hope that they will begin the next film with the three of them receiving their inheritance.

So my advice to everyone who has seen or is planning to see this movie is, read the book before, during, or after seeing this movie because this is truly the worst film out of the six Harry Potter movies. It does not even come close to doing the book justice.

- Chelsea Delz

Film Ratings:
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 2 out of 5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 6 out of 5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 5 out of 5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 4 out of 5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 5 out of 5 stars


  1. actually the inheritance isn't in the 6th book its in the 7th book...

  2. I agree whole heartedly! 'Ear, 'Ear!

  3. If you are such a big fan, you would know why they didn't put the final battle in this movie, and you would know that the will is done in book 7. I just re-read them for the 4th time. Perhaps you need to remember that they only have two and a half hours to tell the story. The movie was wonderful, regardless. But then, you are entitled to your opinion; the rest of us have ours!

  4. Yes, there are only 2 to 2 1/2 hours in that film and yes the book is big, but I have taken screenwritting courses in college and I know that whomever wrote this screenplay took way too many liberties with this story. This movie was terrible and I can't belive J.K. signed off on this film!