Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009): Halloween Review

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Everyone has that one movie that they watch a million times because friends and family keep suggesting it, but they don’t have the heart to tell people they don’t like it that much. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is that movie for me.

My first experience watching the 6th Harry Potter film was when it first released in theaters. At the time, I had never watched a full Harry Potter film, so I was overwhelmingly confused in the theater watching it. I later watched the movie again when it released on DVD because some friends wanted to watch it, and I wanted to seem cool. Still, I was overwhelmingly confused.

It was not until I recently watched the entire Harry Potter series start to finish that I finally understood what was happening, and still, I found the film, as a whole, underwhelming. That’s not to say parts of this film are not incredible. It has one of the best endings in the series, but the rest of it, while important to the overall plot, is forgettable compared to other installments.

This film reminds me of the many penultimate episodes of television shows where the show diverges from the main plot to provide the necessary exposition to set up the finale. “Half-Blood Prince” is the equivalent of a flashback or side-quest episode that’s become the norm in binge-watching television.

The film suffers greatly from the lack of our main villain Voldemort. His presence is very much felt throughout, but he is never the film’s complete focus, which is a shame because after his reintroduction in “Goblet of Fire,” one would expect his presence to only increase.

This film decides to focus more on character development than plot development, which is a fine choice, especially for a series as long as Harry Potter. The only issue with this is that it leaves the spectacle out, making it a little more tedious than other films in the series.

The character development is incredible, though. Almost every character has a defining moment that sets them up for a grand finale. The end of the film is also one of, if not the best, in the series. Overall, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is not the most entertaining of the series, but it is one of the most important.

Filmnetic Grade: B+

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