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Latest Potter Disappoints Teen

Teen Critic Reviews Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Credit: Warner Brothers

Above: Not enough action in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" for the KPBS Teen Critic

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (opening July 15 throughout San Diego) is the newest installment to the "Harry Potter" series. Unlike the previous movies based on the J.K. Rowling books, this movie was somewhat of a disappointment.

In the first movie, "The Sorcerer’s Stone," there was a storyline about trying to find the stone and about Voldemort trying to rise again to get Harry. In the second movie/book, "The Chamber of Secrets," it was about the dangers of opening the chamber of secrets. In this movie the audience learns a little bit more about Voldemort but it's still kept somewhat in the background as the emphasis is on the characters going through another year at Hogwarts and experiencing many things. In the fourth movie, "The Prisoner of Azkaban," the story concerns Serious Black and Harry learning even more about himself as well as his enemy. These earlier movies all have storylines that the characters move through with hints of what is to come, and little bits and pieces about Harry’s past surfacing. But what I didn’t like about the latest Potter film, "the Half-Blood Prince," was the emphasis on how Tom Riddle/Voldemort is going to come back to kill Harry. The more the films focus on this, the more the stories lose sight of all other things that may be going on in the daily life of Harry Potter.

In the beginning there was a story for the audience to enjoy and keep them entertained. Now they are more focused on Voldemort and dealing with him, which is less interesting. "The Half-Blood Prince" is quite long without that much action to keep the audience interested. When you hear about the items that contain Tom’s soul and that they need to be destroyed you would think that Harry would then go looking for all the pieces and not just one. This installment just felt as if it was lacking a story. I was uninterested and some of it was rushed even though the movie was two and a half hours long.

The first few movies in the series were meant for all people -- whether you read the books or not -- to be able to watch, enjoy and understand. But these past few movies are more complicated and just don’t hold people's interest as well. I am a huge "Harry Potter" fan but I even found myself starting to doze off during the movie. I took my friend -- who was not as familiar with the Potter books or films -- with me to see the movie and he was constantly asking questions about what was going on because to the average person it just doesn’t make sense.  This movie was also depressing instead of being the action packed movie I thought it would be. In the previous movies there is almost no stop to the magic and the battles the characters go through, whereas this movie didn't have as much of either.

Since it took nearly two years for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (rated PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality) to come out I figured the special effects would be amazing and there would be tons of stuff to keep me entertained but the truth is that the film just fell short of my expectations.

--Janeane White recently graduated from Mount Miguel High School.

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