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Harry Potter Countdown: No. 5 ‘Half-Blood Prince’

The finale of one of cinema's best-executed franchises in "Harry Potter" comes out next Friday and we are going to continue with our countdown with No. 5 on our list of least to most enjoyed, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. A break from the first two films in the series, this entry offers all the wizardry we would expect thought perhaps not the punch we wanted.

KIERAN: After the dark tone that David Yates set out in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, “The Half-Blood Prince” felt like a step back. Yates made the film lighter and played it more safe, taking away the stylish visual tricks he used in the previous film. “Half-Blood Prince” is a pretty decent film, but it was not the best adaptation possible of the novel. The tone was mixed between darkness and the need to show teenage libido. It is slow in pacing and some of the key scenes of the book were cut in exchange for more comic scenes. The action was well made, with the scene with the inferi and performance by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin as a young Tom Riddle being effectively creepy. Rating: 7.5/10
MAX: I don’t know if I would call “Half-Blood Prince” a step back as much as a sidestep and overall “different” approach to the “Potter” films. For certain, it was a major shift in terms of tone (one that didn’t feel very light to me), sacrificing more CGI inspired sequences for lavish let pieces, flashbacks and lower lighting. Teen angst/hormones and the sacrifice of key action sequences aside, “Half-Blood Prince” felt like the franchise had matured towards its climax in terms of characters and dramatic effect. Rating: 7/10


STEVEN: In my opinion, this book was the most expertly adapted in terms of best “movie.” I’ll admit there were some flaws, but I think Kloves finally decided to write a more cohesive Potter film rather than a more loyal adaptation and thus “Prince” feels like its own film. He works in the Draco Malfoy “subplot” and Yates creates some compelling transitions to and from it as well as with the memory/pensieve scenes. Ultimately, it’s the step back to PG that kept this film from being one of the best of the series, zapping the impact of the key event in the end and cutting out the battle in Hogwarts. Rating: 8.5/10


SIMON:  “Order of the Pheonix” in my opinion was not only the best film of the “Potter” series but by far the most sucessful adaptation, by all odds improving over the bloated source material. As a follow-up my expectations were high especially considering this was director David Yate’s second addition to his string of films. Thankfully “Half-Blood Prince”, while not blowing my mind, reassured me that the series was headed in a favourable direaction in addition to containing the deep tone and fostering the many maturing performances. This and the next movie did feel in some respects like a bridge to the inevitable and firely conclusions, but then again so did the books. As a stand-alone piece of filmmaking “Half-Blood Prince” still stands as some of the best this franchise has to offer. Rating: 8.0/10

Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.8/10


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