Here is the sixth instalment of the Harry Potter series hitting the big screen finally. After a six month delay which had fans across the world in a tizzy we can finally pay our cash and sit in our seats and enjoy the sights of Hogwarts again. Dumbledore [Michael Gambon] has invited his good friend Professor Horace Slughorn [Jim Broadbent] back to Hogwarts as the new potions class teacher. Harry [Daniel Radcliffe] befriends Prof. Slughorn with the intention of figuring out the truth about Lord Voldermort back when he was just a student at Hogwarts.
I find this movie harder and harder to review as I try. I’ve written numerous paragraphs describing many things that I find amazing about this movie and as I read them back I realise 80% of them were spoilers so they all got the chopping block. What is most important is for everyone to understand that this is possibly the best film in the series to date. This is actually the first of the Potter series that I’m seeing the film without having read one page from the novel. So I walked into this film with, more or less, a clean slate and waited for the director David Yates to colour me impressed yet another time.
This movie is the perfect example of great character developments. We’ve seen Harry Potter grow up from a child who was always treated like crap and never knew that this whole world existed, and even better yet that he was one of the most well known wizards in this world. Now he has reached the point where not only is he dealing with the problems himself but he is more or less a colleague to one of the greatest wizards of the world, Dumbledore. Dumbledore no longer looks at Harry with those looks of surprise when we see Harry run off to do battle with Death Eaters or even try to save the headmaster himself. Also the fact that finally Dumbledore is no longer trying to hold information back from Harry shows us this feel that Harry has finally matured into a proper wizard that we all hoped he would become.
The teachers are not the only place where we see the development in the film. The gang, Harry, Ron [Rupert Grint] and Hermione [Emma Watson], have definitely grown up in this movie – and I’m not only talking about the physical. This year at Hogwarts was really the year of love. This girl loves that guy and that guy loves that girl. The film has really become a wonderful soap opera for me in these times. I think that Rowling definitely answered a lot of questions with the relationships between each of our characters in the film, which I definitely appreciate.
One of the really wasted characters throughout the series for me has been Draco Malfoy [Tom Felton]. I’ve found him to be this real spoilt brat, and I guess that’s what he is, and that really annoyed me through the entire series. However, I felt in this film we really got an honest emotional look into the child that it seems is forced into this life of darkness. Draco is chosen for a mission for The Dark Lord and we see his character break in pieces between the right and wrong of the mission. It also shows us that even though he knows he has to do the deed he can’t because he isn’t really a bad person. It’s like the stereotypical bully character that pretends to be big and tough and when someone actually stands up to him he can’t backup his words.
It should be said that this film, unlike all the other Potter movies, doesn’t contain that last forty minutes of action packed sequences. There are a few well placed action scenes, but nothing like what we got in the last instalment. So please do not be like some of the audience I overheard on the way out of my showing of the flick who were complaining that it disappointed because ‘it neva have enuff action’ or whatnot. Go in with a clear mind and try to see it as what it is. A great fantasy film and a real set up for what is to come.
Overall, after thinking about it a lot, I will say that this is the best Potter film to date. The characters alone make this movie worth it. I love the way that Yates continues the dark tone of the film with a glimmer of hope as Potter and the gang continue to deal with their day to day lives at school and at times try to engross themselves in such truly childish things and forgetting about the fact that Voldermort is out there looking for blood.
IMDB says 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes says 84%
I say 9.0/10