The Half Blood Prince



The movie event of the Summer was not disappointing, albeit Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince didn’t blow me away, either. A solid movie adaptation of the transitional novel between the two best books in the series, the film did everything it was supposed to do, despite leaving out a good deal of the memories of Tom Riddle shared in the book.

We’ll start with the best parts of the movie. To begin with, the film, surprisingly, did a better job in depicting Snape’s double agent duplicity. While I walked away from the reading of the book with feelings of anger and certainty in regards to the character of Snape, I left the theater with a more appropriate mix of feelings, confusion and contemplation. Snape’s allegiance is never defined and that is how it should be. The book drew too much of a line (while possibly and incorrect one) in the sand.


Besides my appreciation of the portrayal of Snape, there were a few other things done extremely well in this film. The budding romance between Harry and Ginny is filled with all of the appropriately awkward moments. The angst and frustration underlying the Ron and Hermoine situation continues to present itself appropriately, as well. The coming of age pieces to this film as so important to the development of the characters; thankfully, all of this is done very well. In addition to this, the film does a great job with the conflicted nature of Draco Malfoy’s inner struggle throughout the story. He isolates himself and loses himself in his task, eventually breaking down and revealing his true inability to become fully evil. One could argue that Malfoy is the most interesting character in the film, despite his infrequent screen time and even less frequent dialogue.

While I began with my favorite parts of the movie, I won’t go to the logical next step of highlighting what I don’t like about the film… because honestly, there isn’t much. The biggest issues here are slow moving plot points and a plot that is primarily a transitional piece of the overall tale. This is not the film’s fault, as the book is just that… the transition between the reintroduction of Voldemort into wizarding society in Order of the Phoenix and the journey that begins early in the final book. While extremely important things happen in The Half Blood Prince, the action is lacking. Relationships and character development play a much more important role than any type of action. This is common to both the book and film.

Overall, I loved the movie, but it’s not my favorite. I’d place it third, behind Order of the Phoenix and Prisoner of Azkaban, which still leaves it in great company. I tried to avoid too much in the way of spoilers and thus, this review is less than comprehensive to say the least. What I want to shine through here is simple… the film is what it should be, another enjoyable Potter film. While I wish more memories of Riddle had been shared, I see where the film had little chance to include much more than the few they did. I look forward to rereading this book and the final book after having seen this movie and I intend to purchase the film the day it’s released on DVD, but I doubt I’ll head back out and see the IMAX experience after having seen the film in the theater once. A good, but not great film, but a necessary one to set up two films based on one of the best books I’ve ever reading. I’ll counting down until the first installment of Deathly Hallows hits theaters worldwide.

~ by thepaintedman on July 21, 2009.

One Response to “The Half Blood Prince”

  1. This is one of the best reviews i have seen for this movie! You captured a lot of my favorite parts and my frustrations. I would add that I didn’t like the change to the scene at the Weasley’s at Christmas time. That leaves a few holes as to how the next movie will start. Great review for a good movie. Might be number two on my top potter list, behind The Order of the Pheonix.

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