Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince DVD Review
By Kam Williams
Boy Wizard's 6th Adventure Adapted to DVD
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince offers a compelling cinematic experience even for folks who don't know the difference between a "Muggle" and a "Mudblood." But the uninitiated need not worry about such fine distinctions in the fabled series' lexicon, since this flick's formulaic storyline is straightforward enough to follow without a glossary.
Picking up precisely where the previous picture left off, the Half-Blood Prince opens with Harry licking his wounds from his bloody fight inside the Ministry of Magic with his archenemy, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). And we see how Voldemort's minions, the Death Eaters, are presently wreaking havoc all over London.
Next, Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) encourages a reluctant Harry to return to Hogwarts and enlists the lad's help in recruiting Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to teach a course there in Potions. Harry subsequently reunites with pals Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) for a very eventful semester at the storied School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Besides the trademark hocus-pocus, the campus is abuzz with raging hormones.
There are so many romances blossoming around the castle, you almost need a scorecard to keep track of them. Let's see, Ron settles for Lavender (Jessie Cave) when Hermione gives him the cold shoulder. Meanwhile, Harry has the hots for Ron's sister, Ginny (Bonnie Wright), but so does Dean Thomas (Alfie Enoch).
Still, Potter proves far more concerned about monitoring the movements of his classmate Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and the inscrutable Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) whom he suspects to be in league with demonic Lord Voldemort.
Ultimately, the truth comes out during a dramatic confrontation in the Astronomy Tower which resolves little besides setting the stage for another sequel.
Potter hits puberty!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for violence, frightening images, mild epithets and some sensuality.
Running time: 153 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Extras: None.
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Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.
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