Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince runs a little long, but I love the franchise and think this is a fine addition to the series (although my favorite is still Prisoner of Azkaban).
I’m not going to belabor a synopsis of the plot, except to say that if you haven’t seen any of the other films, you’ll be totally confused by this one. There is very little backstory and everything about the ending points to the final episode.
I loved it.
I can’t remember another franchise that spans the childhood of so many of its main actors. I noticed how much more accomplished Rupert Gint (above) was in this one. His comedy relief has often left me cold, but he really nailed the love potion scene. I couldn’t stop giggling as he pined for the moon. Oddly I haven’t felt the same way about Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson. It’s not so much this movie, but more how their appearance has changed over the last few years. They both looked exactly as I imagined their characters would in 2001, but now they look a little too perfect: Dan and his rugged jaw, Emma’s lovely hair. At one, point Dumbldore even says something to Harry like “hard to imagine you’re the same little boy from under the stairs.” Indeed. I loved the gravity of Emma’s precocious ten-year-old Hermionie, but now her seriousness seems really forced. There was a single scene where they seemed to act their age (she swats Harry for trying to take advantage of his reputation to get a date) instead of all the grim looks and gassy expressions. But these are all quibbles. I’m mostly pleased the characters have been played by the same team over the years. Watching them grow into and change with their roles has the potential to add something to the film experience not available in the books. There is one scene in Half-Blood Prince where Harry and Ron stand in the hall at school, towering over all their peers, with such looks of utter contentment and pride. There is nothing like that in the books.