Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Review by Jason Donner
There have only been two Harry Potter movies that I have liked and both of those have been borderline. I'm not sure why I can't connect with this franchise because usually, I love this kind of stuff - wizards and magic and monsters, it's everything I enjoy watching in The Lord of the Rings or any good fantasy epic. However, once again, I find myself scratching my head and wondering just what the big deal is with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, yet another plodding and dull as dishwater installment in this perpetually disappointing series.
With Voldemort on the loose, attacking both wizard and muggles alike, Hogwarts isn't the safe haven it used to be and Dumbledore is determined to prepare Harry for the final battle that we who have watched these dreadful films have been teased with for the last ten years. Meanwhile, the teenaged wizard's hormones are bouncing off the walls in a way that is just as exciting as a PG movie can make it - meaning not at all.
At this point in such a long and sprawling story, you would think that something would happen that would override all of the pompous exposition and explanations that these films seem to thrive on and yet, by the end of The Half-Blood Prince, you're sitting in your seat at nearly the same place you came in. Sure, there's that big thing that happens near the end that has been spoiled by internet memes endlessly since the book came out, but even that seems contrived and lacks any emotional punch.
I'm sure someone out there is angrily typing me a letter right now saying that if I read the books, I would enjoy the movie or at least understand what the heck was happening. Let me save you the trouble: I should not have to read a book to enjoy a movie and the makers of said movie should not have the lazy arrogance to assume that everyone who watches the movie has read the book. That's bad filmmaking and exclusionary writing - screw everyone who's never read the books before, we're making this for the fans.
It's like you have to have the books as an instruction manual to understand what's happening and that's just hubris at its most ugly.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Harry Potter movies have become nothing but a carrot wiggled in front of our noses. It's bait and switch all of the time where we're forced to sit through mediocre movies on the promise that Harry will someday battle Lord Voldemort. Every single one of these movies have degraded to nothing but that: an empty tease and now I hear that the final book in the series is getting split into two movies so that the annoying tease will continue for a few more years.
The thing is, I no longer trust these movies to deliver on their promise. I guess The Half-Blood Prince has convinced me that I will always find the Harry Potter movies boring and tedious. You may think that gives me some sort of satisfaction, but it really doesn't. I really wanted to liked these movies.