Seldom is a movie’s climax capable of rendering a theater full of adults and children both silent and motionless. David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) and the cast of the 6th Harry Potter installment are able to do just that, leave you speechless and unable to move.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince picks up where Order of the Phoenix left off; Lord Voldemort is back, he’s ready for a fight and Harry (Daniel Radcliff) has just lost his godfather Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), one of Lord Voldemort’s most loyal Death eaters. Harry is reluctant to return to Hogwarts, with good reason, but is convinced to do so with a little encouragement from Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon).
For Harry and his two best friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione, (Emma Watson) sixth year at Hogwarts proves challenging with all three facing new professors (Jim Broadbent as a perfectly cast Horace Slughorn), new loves (Jessie Cave as a scene-stealing Lavender Brown), a new Quidditch team of which Harry is now the captain, and new riddles to solve. Each trial and tribulation the threesome encounter often comes with a brief glimpse of maturity, immaturity, understanding and confusion; character traits that will serve all three characters well as they battle the Dark Lord in the 7th and final installment due out in November of next year.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with an adapted screenplay, this installment of Harry Potter, much like it’s predecessor, lacks back story. For the true Harry Potter ‘purist’, this film is missing a few keys elements that must be forgone for the sake of keeping the films running time under 2.5 hours and allowing it to be a stand alone film.However, what Yates excludes in back story, he more then makes up for in a subtlety that only the ‘true’ Harry Potter fan will pick-up on.
In any good series, consistency is key. With a cast of young and old actors we have grown to love and appreciate in their roles over the last 8 years, a writer (Steve Kloves) who has done a phenomenal job adapting this global best-seller and David Yates set to film the back-to-back 2 part Deathly Hallows installment, movie goers will leave this film eagerly anticipating the conclusion of a series that has arguably changed the face of both literature and film.