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Review: Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
It's been two years since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hit the big screen. Originally scheduled for release in November 2008, Potter fans around the world were stunned to learn the 6th movies release had been pushed back nine months.

Now, finally the movies release is upon us and Buzzjack has one of the first reviews!

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the first international screening of the most anticipated movie of 2009; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

There is no time to waste when welcoming us back into the wizarding world.

Director David Yates instantly treats us to the destruction of London’s Millennium Bridge and makes it very clear things are hotting up.

From this action-packed opening the movie continues to move at a rapid pace. Steve Kloves returned to write the screenplay adaptation of JK Rowling’s penultimate book and once again had the mammoth task of deciding what and who to include in the script.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson once again settle back into their respective roles with great ease. I have never been a fan of Emma (and her eyebrows) but there has been a significant improvement. Watson really shines as Hermione when she finally accepts her true feelings for Ron (Grint).

It’s not just Ron and Hermione having romantic problems though. Harry himself has to come to terms with his feelings for Ron’s younger sister, Ginny. I do like Bonnie Wright who plays the youngest Weasley but truth be told, on screen, she bores me. A little expression goes a long way.

I had been worried about the level of romance in Half-Blood Prince and hearing the cast talk about the movie as a rom-com did not help. Thankfully Steve Kloves has hit the balance perfectly between romance and action and at no stage does it feel we have an overload of either.

"Superb in the role"

New additions to the cast include one of the UK’s best loved actors, Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn (below), an old Hogwarts professor who Dumbledore convinces to return to teach. All is not as it seems with old Slughorn though and it becomes Harry’s mission to dig deeper into his memories to see what he is hiding. Broadbent is quite simply superb in the role.

The other casting highlight is that of 22 year old Jessie Cave who plays the adorably crazy Lavender Brown, a girl who it is fair to say is rather infatuated with Ron Weasley. Jessie is a real scene stealer and has perfect comic timing. Her squeals of “Won-Won” had everyone laughing out loud.

The indispensable Alan Rickman plays the role of Snape to perfection and leaves you wishing he had more screen-time than he is given. Tom Felton finally shows his true ability as Draco Malfoy becomes one of the most intriguing characters of the movie, progressing from school bully to something much darker thanks to a mission from Voldermort.

One person however is the star of the movie.

Sir Michael Gambon has come in for some harsh criticisms over the past few years since he took over the role of Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. In Half-Blood Prince his performance has, by some reviewers already sparked some Oscar talk. I couldn’t agree more.

Gambon delivers a superb performance throughout as Dumbledore begins to prepare Harry for what lies ahead. Dramatic scenes set in Hogwarts Astronomy Tower will remain among one of my favourite film moments ever and that is solely down to Sir Michael’s powerful and emotional delivery.

At 153 minutes the sixth movie is a rollercoaster of emotions. From the sets to the costumes the entire film has a rich feel to it. The cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel is like nothing seen before in a Potter movie. Throw in Nicholas Hoopers stunningly composed score and I have to wonder, how many people won’t soon have a new favourite Potter movie?

Now, who’s starting the countdown to Deathly Hallows Part 1?

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, certificate 12A, opens July 15th.
Published on: 2009-07-07 by RyRy || 7318 Views
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