After “Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix” came out in 2007, Warner Bros. (WB for short) David Heyman & J.K. Rowling immediately begin development on the sixth installment of the Harry Potter franchise known as “The Half-Blood Prince.” Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint along many other cast members reprise their roles continuing the film series based on the books.
Harry And The Half Blood-Prince was released in 2009. (same year Coraline came out) It received positive reviews from critics, fans & movie goers alike. In addition to good reception, it also made enough money at the box office.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is in development, due to the ongoing Coronavirus putting plans on halt, no release date has been given. I’d like share what’s good or about Half-Blood Prince.
Today’s review contains SPOILERS, due to the fact a massive SPOILER was controversial for many fans as well as lampooning reactions. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie. So be it. Further SPOILERS are included.
Magical & Cursed Elements
Magical: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson & Rupert Grint reprise their roles as The Trio. They all did a fantastic job for their respective performances.
Returning Cast Members from previous installments including Alan Rickman, (may he Rest In Peace) Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Timothy Spall & David Thewlis all did a great job for their respective performances.
Jim Broadbent did a good job for his role as Slughorn. He plays a huge role in Voldemort’s origins.
David Yates did an ok job directing the sixth installment.
Some of the Action Sequences were good.
Special Effects seemed polished. Not as fake like the effects from Sorcerer’s Stone & Chamber Of Secrets.
Cinematography never had any technical problems.
Snape revealing himself as The Half-Blood Prince was an effective plot twist. M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” plot twist involving plants ain’t got crud on Snape!
Chemistry between Harry, Ron & Hermione continues to be the emotional focal point on their friendship.
Half-Blood Prince has some subtle pop culture references. Especially movies that came out in 2009. Hear me out, some of them are purely coincidental.
The film takes place in 2006-2007.
If you have a keen eye, Draco’s father Lucius is seen on most wanted newspaper.
Another blink in you’ll miss moment is Ralph Fiennes’ cameo as present day Voldemort in a vision.
McGonagall lampshades the entire series to Harry, Hermione & Ron saying, “Why is it always you three?” Pretty much sums up The Trio’s shenanigans when it comes to investigating a mystery.
Harry & Dumbledore’s chemistry felt kinda similar to Russell & Carl from “Up.” It has something to do with a boy and an old man going on an adventure together.
Whenever I hear Harry & Ron talk about girls. I can already picture their friendship to Paul Rudd & Jason Segal in “I Love You Man.”
Luna Lovegood carries a magazine titled, The Quibber” with a 3-D logo. James Cameron’s painfully average sci-fi epic, “Avatar” started the 3-D craze.
A bathroom fight reminded me of that one fight from “True Lies.”
Draco’s blood goes down the drain. An homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” not that god awful Gus Van Sant remake.
A girl taken controlled by a demonic presence floating in the air pays tribute to “The Exorcist.”
Death Eaters attempting to kill Harry & The Weasley’s at their home felt similar to Hans Landa’s introduction from “Inglorious Basterds.”
I think the movie did a jab at “Dragon Ball Evolution.” Hermione’s crush Cormac literally eats dragon’s balls mistaking it for candy. A double reference to Chef’s song from “South Park.” If you understood the reference you might get it. I’m surprised they got away with that joke.
According to J.K. she regrets not having Harry & Hermione as a couple. I didn’t mind Harry getting together with Ginny. It was accidental for J.K. to have them as a pair. Everybody including me didn’t expect Ginny to be Harry’s love interest. I think J.K. accidentally did a good on subverting expectations unlike that idiot Rian Johnson for ruining Luke Skywalker’s personality by turning him into a dirty coward with psychopathic tendencies.
Hermione mentions her parents are dentists while eating at a dessert table. A nod to “Meet The Parents” with Ben Stiller’s character Greg Focker explaining his job about nursing to Robert De Niro’s Jack Byrnes.
Hermione said “your best friend’s missing” to Ron. Coincidentally, a best friend was missing in “The Hangover.” Both Warner Bros. distributed Half-Blood Prince & The Hangover.
After Dumbledore drinks water to reveal a horcrux, zombie like creatures rise above the deep. “Zombieland” obviously had zombies. Unlike the undead from “Zombieland,” the zombies in Half-Blood Prince kinda look like Dren from “Splice.”
Slughorn keeps an hourglass. “Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian also had an hourglass that plays an important role.
Harry & Ginny chasing Bellatrix in a field of crops is a reference to “Signs.”
Dumbledore falling to his death in slow motion mirrors The Comedian’s death scene from “Watchmen.”
The Ending sets up Deathly Hallows. The final installment of the Harry Potter series. Until “Fantastic Beasts” goes back to the past.
Cursed: A subplot involving Ron & his crush felt unnecessary. I was cringing. Let me get this straight, Half-Blood showed Voldemort’s backstory on his desire to become immortal, an attempted murder, Draco’s blood going down the drain & Dumbledore’s tragic death. What do we get to sugarcoat the dark ingredients? A ridiculous subplot with Ron acting way too goofy over his crush. EGADS! This is close to the level of cringe as in “I Love You Beth Cooper.” Chris Columbus directed the first two Harry Potter movies, maybe he gave some pointers in a bad way. Oh how the mighty have fallen I hate it when beloved characters become “Crazy & Nutty!” Blame it on the PG rating. Goblet Of Fire & Order Of The Phoenix were PG-13, indicating the series is maturing to dark territory. Reducing the rating back to PG is the exact opposite turning this into “Care Bears.”
Harry drinks a lucky potion causing him to act hyper like Hammy The Squirrel from “Over The Hedge.” Again, characters become “Crazy & Nutty.” No wonder David Heyman produced “Yes Man” without getting his act together separating a specific tone in one movie.
The Killing Curse has a blue aura rather than green. Did anybody forget to watch last movie or two?
Ron’s crush calls him “Won-Won.” Aw geez! This is Anakin Skywalker’s nickname “Ani” all over again. Who the heck wrote this scene George Lucas? Even Hermione mentioned she felt like throwing up.
Another nitpick centering around Hagrid’s spider friend Araog reduced to a smaller size. I remember in “Chamber Of Secrets” when he was bigger the last time. Oh wait a tic, The Writer’s Strike Of 2007-2008 caused WB to rush production without additional rewrites or re-shooting to polish the movie truer to the lore’s text.
The Final Verdict: B-
As a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, I have to give Half-Blood Prince tough love reducing this installment as an average film like I did with Order Of The Phoenix. If it weren’t for the goofy moments cut out, I would’ve given it an A- not to worry, Deathly Hallows redeemed the series, until The Crimes Of Grindlewald & J.K. Rowling’s dignity tarnished the franchise. If you want to watch Half-Blood Prince before diving deeper into a Deathly Hallows, go ahead and give it a watch.