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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - 2002

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second installment for the adaptation of J.K. Rowling's popular book series, and quite a succesful one at that, by critics' opinions and box office alike. I will admit I liked it more than the first, but there were still plenty of clear flaws in this film. It was basically the exact same film as the first, but every aspect of the Chamber of Secrets was either slightly improved upon from the Sorcerer's Stone, or the same. But the number one thing that stuck out to me most was that the moment the credits began to roll, whether the film was great or not, I was ready to see the third one.

After finishing his first wonderful year at Hogwart's, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) must return home to his dreadful aunt and uncle that treat him poorly. Though an unexpected visit comes to harry Potter from Dobby the house elf, who warns him of very horrible things that will happen at Hogwart's if he is to return next school year, but even through his aunt, uncle, and now Dobby's desperate attempts to keep him away from the school, Harry Potter still finds his way to Hogwart's. But it is not for the best, as Dobby predicted strange and terrible things are beginning to happen, such as students getting paralyzed and Harry hearing voices, and yet again our three heroes embark on a suspensful adventure.

Like the Sorcerer's Stone, I loved the story in the Chamber of Secrets, and maybe even more so than the first film. It was filled with plenty of magic, fun, and I can assure you it was interesting throughout its very unusually long length. But what the Chamber of Secrets has that the first film did not, is it, along with all of the actors and film makers, begins to discover what kind of film series it wants to be here. The intensity level goes up a bit, and it may still feel like a child's film, but I think older ages can relate and enjoy the Chamber of Secrets much more than they could the Sorcerer's Stone. After all, entertainment is the most important aspect of a movie.

The most refreshing and encouraging thing for me though, was our three main cast members, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson. Their acting is still shaky in this film, but is miles and miles better than it was in the first film. Daniel Radcliffe is really starting to relax into his role as Harry Potter, and even though at first I felt like he could be a miscast, now I know he was the perfect choice for the job. Emma Watson is actually very good in this movie, working as the know it all best friend of the two school trouble makers. Her part in this film is not as long as in the first, but she certainly does a good job with it when she is there. Rupert Grint is at times quite hilarious, his fear of spiders, though not as troublesome as my own, was very entertaining, and he is obviously the character I can relate most to in the Chamber of Secrets. Unfortunately, the audience, cast, and film crew all experience a devastating loss after this film, which is the death of Richard Harris, which in my mind will always be Dumbledore, the next cast member fills in decently for the Prisoner of Azkaban, but it will just never be the same for me. Needless to say, his performance was brilliant, maybe not as difficult, but I would put it on the level of Ian McKellen's in the Lord of the Rings series.

Though I do not have particular respect for Chris Columbus as a director, it is a shame that this was the last of the series that he directed. I think his direction was fairly solid and he seemed to be fitting into the job very well here. His direction improved from the first film, and even though it still could have been much better, I think the series would have been best off if he was still running the show. I have not read the book, but making this a three hour film and doing a decent job seemed like a very difficult thing to me, but Columbus does it. However, I am sure many viewers wouldn't have minded the film to be a little shorter, I will admit it took me more than one sitting to finish it.

Overall, the Chamber of Secrets is yet again a very imperfect Harry Potter film, but it is ultimately better and more satisfying than the Sorcerer's Stone. Honestly, I did not even feel like the movie needed a sequel, but ah, nobody wants to stop after two. The special effects were fantastic like the first, and Hogwart's is just as magical as ever, if you're a Potter fan, you won't be disappointed in this film.

Rating: 8/10


  1. awesome man :), i love how your giving the series so much praise already, and you have only seen 2 of them. I am telling you that you are gonna love the series after this film. it begins to get real dark :)

  2. Cool review, glad you enjoyed it! I was so sad when Richard Harris passed away. It is a bit jarring seeing Michael Gambon for the first time, but I'm used to him now - but you'll see that soon enough, haha.
    The last film is so soon now!

  3. Thanks Alex, I finished number 4 last night, and loved it. My favorite so far!

    Ruth - Thanks, it was for me as well. And yes, I already have my tickets! lol

  4. oh hahha, well I'll be awaiting on your review for it :)