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Vermaak | Entertainment > Film > Resensies | Reviews

Reel time: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Been there, done that!

Reney Warrington - 2009-07-22

Ten minutes into The Halfblood Prince I had the vague feeling that I had seen this movie before. And of course I had, because I had seen the previous five Harry Potter films. Still I hoped to be surprised, to be blown away.

No such luck. It is all too familiar.

As per usual the emotional storytelling is strong and the humour enchanting. The film is also filled with a good dose of zany characters and the usual suspects in the form of daft Ron, brainy Hermione and the wide-eyed, overwhelmed Harry.

Of course the film is beautifully shot. It has England for a backdrop! They did not need to build stone villages, gothic castles and charming pubs. It looks magical all on its own. The weather also plays along. The gloomy, rainy English landscapes once again add to the gloomy, but not so evil, mood of this instalment.

Perhaps one can blame the familiarity on JK Rowling’s strong writing? Or that the director stuck to the tried and trusted formulas of the previous films?

The only new element to The Halfblood Prince, apart from Jim Broadbent, is hormones, and teenage hormones at that. Hermione has the hots for Ron, but Ron snogs someone else. Harry has the hots for Ron’s sister, but it freaks Ron out ... How "cute" you find all of this will depend on what your teenage tolerance is.

There are a few highlights, though. Harry drinks a "lucky potion" and it gives Daniel Radcliffe about three minutes to showcase that his repertoire as an actor includes more than playing "sheepish Harry".

Jim Broadbent is as brilliant as he was in Moulin Rouge and Iris. Helene Bonham Carter is captivatingly evil as Bellatrix Lestrange, even if she is on screen for only two minutes.

Even though formulaic, familiar and a tad too long, The Halfblood Prince ends up successfully being a captivating trailer for the next two instalments in the Harry Potter franchise.