November 26, 2002

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I took Dave to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this afternoon, and was not disappointed. The movie is as faithful to J.K. Rowling's novel as the first one was, and the special effects were even better. The spiders alone...well, without giving anything away, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Dave has nightmares. The whole thing was well worth the money, and I'll gladly pay for the DVD when it becomes available.

That said, the movie has the same flaws as its predecessor, only more so. There's too much crammed into it to really do most of the scenes justice. Kenneth Branagh is outstanding as Gilderoy Lockhart, the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, but even he isn't given quite enough screen time to do the character justice. Must less time is given to developing the characters of the principles, Harry, Ron, and Hermione; they simply have too much to do to waste time being themselves. The dialog suffers correspondingly. Some of the minor characters seemed rather wooden as well. Draco Malfoy wasn't nearly as satisfyingly poisonous as in the first movie, and Moaning Myrtle could have said her lines better as well.

But, when all is said and done, I'm satisfied. I think of it as a series of illustrations for the book, and at that it succeeds very well.

I'll pick just one nit: mythologically speaking, basilisks are lizards, not snakes. But I can't blame the folks who made the movie for that.

Posted by Will Duquette at November 26, 2002 06:57 PM