The Harry Potter Movie
July 23, 2009
I know that others have already weighed in on the new (6th) Harry Potter movie, but I thought I would throw in my $.02 and see if it generates any discussion.
I saw the movie with my daughters (14 and 10) and a friend of my older daughter (also 14). The kids loved it. I didn’t like it very much. This was actually the second time my older daughter had seen it. She went with a big group to the Midnight premier last week — several kids her age and two adults. The kids all loved it. The two adults didn’t like it very much. I wonder if this is a pattern that others have noticed.
So, what didn’t I like about it? For one thing, like the fifth movie, I felt that the movie had no discernible plot. I’d read the book (I’ve read all the books, and enjoyed them very much, particularly the later ones), so I knew what was happening. But if I hadn’t known the book, I think I would have been utterly lost. I felt like I was watching the Sportscenter highlight reel from the book. All the big events were covered, but there was no narrative thread tying them all together. As I say, I felt this same way about the fifth movie, but the fifth movie ends with that magical battle in the Ministry of Magic, and it was so stunningly spectacular on the screen, that I was able to forgive a lot that came before. I didn’t feel that this 6th movie had an effective ending to offset earlier flaws. There is that one very cool battle scene earlier in the movie. (I won’t say more so as not to give it away to those who haven’t seen the movie yet, except to say that this battle isn’t in the book, so you will be surprised.) But I would have preferred that they skip that battle and have the final fight at Hogwarts. It was an effective climax for the book, and would have been for the movie as well.
There were other liberties taken with the book as it was translated to the screen, and while I’m usually fine with that (the changes Peter Jackson made to LOTR never bothered me), I felt that these changes detracted from the story. Most of the changes I refer to revolved around the development of Harry and Ginny’s relationship. I won’t say more.
The acting was no worse than it was in earlier films. Alan Rickman is always good and Emma Watson remains the best actor of the three leads. Daniel Radcliffe might have been less wooden this time around; Rupert Grint didn’t have much to work with in this movie, and didn’t do very much with what he had.
If I had to rate the movie on a 1 to 5 star system, I’d give it 2 and a half. It had enough to entertain, but was, in my opinion, pretty mediocre.