I let my 15-year-old daughter talk me into taking her to a midnight showing of HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (aka HP6) Tuesday night to Wednesday morning. Admittedly, I didn't take a lot of convincing as I wanted to see it as well.
So about 10:45 pm we trucked over to the mall, where four theatres' worth of people were waiting to see HP6. We ended up in the back row but that turned out to be just fine as we got home pretty quick. I was one of the older people in the crowd, most appeared to be teens or young college-age. There were some families with children. After about an hour of waiting the lights went down, the crowd cheered, and away we went!NO SPOILER Review
I enjoyed watching HP6, and thought it was a well-executed production. It was darker, a little more grim, a little more foreboding than previous movies. The actors all did a good job with the characters, but of course most of them have been those characters for almost 10 years so really the characters like Harry, Hermoine, Ron, the students, the teachers, etc, have been defined by the actors. There were good special effects around big magic sequences, especially the scene in the cave near the ocean (no more details necessary for those who know).
The movie was also much funnier than I would have expected. Much of the humor centered around the "relationship hexagon" of Harry, Hermoine, Ron, Ginny, Lavender, and Cormac, and it turned out much humor was to be had there. I (and the audience) spent more time laughing during the movie that I would have thought going into it.
Oh yes, and Quiddich is back! That was very appreciated, and worked well for both humor and character.
However, I found the movie a little slow and light in terms of dramatic plotline. Most of the movie is concerned with the "relationship hexagon". And since these are teenagers, the highs and lows of their relationships didn't resonate with a "been there, done that" old fart like me. It did resonate with the younger crowd much more, who cheered and "wooo"d and "awwww"d in all the appropriate places.
The "Tom Riddle history" scenes were cut down from the book and used to fill in important backstory points, and the "who is the Half-Blood Prince" mystery pretty much ignored. Draco Malfoy had some brooding action that is, at times, repetitive but plays out in the end moments.
Later, I realized that the flaws of the movie were really derived from the flaws of the book. The book is, to a large part, concerned with the "who's snogging who" aspect of Hogwarts. The "Half-Blood Prince" mystery aligns with the "Tom Riddle history" but both of those are really back story couched as flashback. I remember feeling the same way after reading the book - I got a lot of infodump, but not a lot really happened.
Speaking of the end, in a non-spoiler way, the big dramatic moment is there but it is very changed from the book in terms of surrounding circumstances and denouement. The final scene of the movie is very simple and serves to set what will happen in the the seventh (and eighth) films.( Collapse )
But beyond some of my misgivings, I still found HALF-BLOOD PRINCE a very enjoyable film especially for someone who has read all the books. I think that someone who had not read the books could follow along but might be lost at some of the plot issues that stretch back several books/films. Overall, I definitely recommend the film.