ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Movies & Movie Reviews

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: Just Awful

Updated on August 10, 2009

As the world devours the new Harry Potter film as it has done with everything to do with Harry Potter since the first book came out so many years ago, I’m struck with a disparaging thought: have we all lost what little good taste we had in films to the slobbering mob mentality of fan boy mania?

Let me start off by saying this: I’m not a huge fan of the old movies in the Harry Potter series. I’m more of a Lord of the Rings kind of guy and I never liked the way that the story closely followed Harry even though the far more interesting adult wizard action was taking place off camera and often times purposefully hidden from the viewer.

Now, I haven’t read all of the books. In fact, I’ve only read one and it coincidentally was the Half Blood Prince. I picked it up because I enjoyed the Prisoner of Azkaban film and wanted to see how much darker Harry could get. Sadly, dark seems to mean awkwardly anx ridden and romantic to JK Rowling.

I’m not going to start digging on the Harry Potter books because this isn’t the hub or the place and I’m sure there are hundreds of passionate Harry Potter fans who would just love to criticize my views on the books, I’m here to talk about the latest film and that’s what we’re going to do.

I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on opening night.

To put it bluntly, this film was god awful. I sat in my chair watching the whole thing with my head in my hands and cringing and I almost fell asleep four times! There was so much wrong with this film that the stuff they got right paled and flittered out of existence like a poorly made potion. The acting was terrible, the pace was sluggishly monotonous, scene after scene was filled with unnecessary side plot and strange cuts to unnecessary innuendo and the big dramatic sequences that made this story such a hit in the first place were completely rushed and anticlimactic.

When Actors Feel like Actors All Magic is Lost

You know you have a good actor when you forget that they are acting. If the job is done right the actor becomes the character in your mind and you completely suspend your disbelief and fall into the film. I don’t think that the actors in this movie have really learned their craft. I mean, it was understandable back in the first couple of movies because they were young kids fresh into the acting scene. Now, they just plain suck.

Every scene had at least ten unnecessary pauses in the dialog. It felt like after every line delivered the actors suddenly forgot their lines and were listening to the off stage crew feeding their next sentence to them. Every single conversation between the three central character, Harry, Hermione, and Ron, was flat and uninteresting and they were the ones on camera 95% of the film!

The older veterans weren’t much better either. The actor playing Dumbledore gave a decent performance but it was inconsistent. Most of the time his lines fell flat and it felt like he didn’t care about the action going on around him. Maybe that was the point? The only time I truly felt anything for him was during this one poison drinking scene. He made me believe he was actually in pain then but the rest of the film I felt like I was drinking the terrible Voldemort potion.

Where’s Voldemort?

Speaking of the fabled villain, where the hell was he the entire film? He doesn’t make any appearance at all. Instead we're treated to some no-name henchman who are never even introduced and they barely make any noise. Who's that guy that looks like an uglier magical version of Sabretooth anyway?

Now, in other movies this is done well and you still get that ugly foreboding feeling whenever the villain is thought about but in this one he became almost laughable because the flash backs of him in his younger days show him as this prissy little baby faced kid who isn’t scary in the least. 

Haven’t Read the Book? Too Bad, You Won't Know What's Going On

Its one thing to ruin a novel but it is a whole other issue when the film relies on the fact that over 80% of the audience has read the book five times. There were some major plot holes that only made sense because of the novel’s background information. I would hate to be someone who has never read the books and only likes watching the films.

For example, why was that girl trying to get Harry to drink a love potion? The offhanded excuse Hermione gave that the director tried to pass off as plot progression didn’t cut it. Yeah, Harry’s the chosen one but he’s been that way for a long time. Why do the girls like him now?

Why does Ginny tie Harry’s shoes?

If the above sub heading doesn’t make sense to you then you need to join the club. There were a number of scenes in this film that were grotesquely sexual but because it is a kid’s film the director had to play them off as innocent. Why does Ginny tie Harry’s shoes in next to the vanishing cabinet? Unnecessary innuendo, that’s why. It was only made even clearer when Ron asks Harry if they’d done it in there.

Oral sex doesn’t belong in Harry Potter guys, come on! 

SPOILERS! Entirely too Anticlimactic.

Before you read this little paragraph I’m going to give you the option. I’m going to reveal the ending of the movie (though most of you should already know what went down anyway) and I don’t want to have anyone go crazy about it. So here is your spoiler warning, skip to the next section if you want to never think of what happens until you see the film.

As you probably already know, because it was thrown around the internet and the world when the Half Blood Prince first came out in book form, Snape kills Dumbledore. Gasp! I know. Awful right? This one's certainly going to end up in a movie trivia quiz somewhere.

This is a major turning point in our character’s lives but in this film it is handled so poorly that I really didn’t care about it at all. Maybe it was due to the fact that everyone already knew it was going to happen anyway but not a single person in the theatre seemed to react when this happened: First there is a really intense yet whiny scene between Malfoy and Dumbledore and then the villains walk in, Snape shows up, Bam, Dumbledore dead. It happened that quickly in the film too and Harry watches the whole thing with a look of mild discontent when he could have easily saved them all.

Boring! But to make things worse, the villains casually walk out of the HIGHLY FORTIFIED school of GREAT MAGIC without having to disarm but one inept guard. Where’s the bloody battle scene between awesome and powerful wizards? Where’s the defense system that was so hyped up earlier in the film?

A Total Waste

In the end of the film Harry has a little discussion with his friends and he says something along the lines of “It was all a waste of time.” Well, I have to give it to him there because this film was a waste of three hours of my life and I won’t be getting it back any time soon. My advice? Skip this Harry Potter movie and wait for the next one. The only plot that moves forward at all is the relationship between Ron and Hermione and to be honest, it was poorly pushed forward anyway.

There's more I could say about this film but really at this point why bother? You get the picture: it was a terrible, no good, just plain uninspired, boring piece of fiction that had so much potential but fell completely flat on the nose.

Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe I’m not giving them enough credit. I went with four other friends (who have read the Harry Potter books over and over countless times) and they seemed to enjoy the movie. What did you think about the latest Harry Potter film? Am I right in my criticisms? Let me know with a comment.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      no one 5 years ago

      Voldemort isnt there in the movie because he wasn't there in the book, but yeah apart from that most of the things are true, I mean they didn't even show dumbledore's funeral!?! Plus most of dumbledore's memories were not shown and most of the focus was on ron and hermione's romance...The only thing that was actually suiting the dark theme of half blood prince was Draco fixing the vanishing cabinet and the cave scene with the inferi.

    • profile image

      Cubey 6 years ago

      Never fully understood people being unable to really get what is happening.. I've not read the books. :/ I felt I understood fine...

    • profile image

      Emma 6 years ago

      I have never been a great fan of the films but this one was definitely the worst. The acting was even more appalling than ever before (apart from Evanna Lynch who I love). Everything was incredibly rushed as well; had I not read the books I would have absolutely no idea what was happening.

    • profile image

      Kent J 7 years ago

      I just tivoed it this weekend and my wife and I watched it. I enjoyed the first couple books and each movie, less and less and think i have missed 2 now. And i just wasted 2.5 hours of my life at the end of a perfectly good weekend.

      It was miserable drivel. (is that a HP character?) the whole way through it feels like the movie is telling us how to feel.. hate this character, feel sad now, be scared now, uh oh wince NOW, Love her, hate him.. now be so swoony over romance.

      But i couldn't care less about ANY character, other than the little blond girl who was Harry's date at one point. She was a fun actress doing interesting things. She should have been the director.


    • girlincape profile image

      Kasey Rubenstein 7 years ago from California

      Btw don't ever watch Twilight. It's everything you described as being bad about this movie but way worse.

    • girlincape profile image

      Kasey Rubenstein 7 years ago from California

      Haha! Great hub. I saw this film after reading the book so I didn't get quite as frustrated as you, but I can see where you're coming from. Mostly I just laughed at how awkward the acting was. The scene after Harry drinks the Felix Felicis is great.

    • profile image

      Kirsty 7 years ago

      wot a load of crap! if u read the books from the beginning and understood the plot lines, the reasons for those stories, you'll understandf that everything in the film was the bare minimum! i think u spout a load of crap, u clearly don't understand the true spirit of the franchise

      and as for ginny tying his shoe lace, that was a graphic as they could get without it being innapropriate for the younger viewers!

    • profile image

      True Fan 7 years ago

      Ive been a fan of Harry potter since the very first book, Ive read them all but only once and the half blood prince was perhaps one of the most enjoyable books ive read, I myself am a College student and grew up with the Harry potter films and tbh the characters too, but this film was one word... Uninspiring, It lacked so much depth and I totally agree with this Hub, the critical scenes were rushed greatly, no inclusion of Dumbledores funeral, harry is watching the murder from under the floor bordes but specifically watches from under the invisiblity cloak, the relationship between the three main characters I also feel is lacking, the magical factor has gone and great improvements must be made. The battle scene was also equally as big within this story, showing and highlighting the main villians of the approaching sequel, Greyback???? made two appearances in the film.... I was disappointed :/

    • Pumpkin head profile image

      Pumpkin head 7 years ago

      I hated this movie too and you said why much better than I could mproctor. One of the things I thought was really silly was the half blood prince reveal at the end. No build-up at all and a huge waste of a good plot point.

      Gotta wonder if there's an hour worth of deleted scenes. Sure wish they got rid of the first half snoozefest instead :|

    • profile image

      Emilyp8589 7 years ago

      I was highly dissappointed in the movie... I'm one of the ones who have read the book 5 times and I can't believe they left some of the most crucial parts to the story line out. And I agree about what you said about Voldemort being absent. Seriously, we saw more of him in the trailer than the actual movie. And speaking of the trailer, after seeing it, I was so hyped about the movie. I thought it was a great trailer..... What a let down.

    • profile image

      notamuggle 7 years ago

      Here is my feelings about Half Blood Prince. Well, let's start with the extras that are on the blu-ray (playing the whole way through the movie with the interviews): David Yates has never and I repeat, Never read the books he is directing. I was sitting in horror, listening to him philosophically debate about "Harry's cleverness in getting Slughorn to divulge his 'secret'". He basically crooned about how Harry was learning how to manipulate information out of teachers. Ha! Harry had used the potion, right? The potion affects who Harry is with, right?! Lord. This goes on take after take, showing Yates lack of understanding of the text he is taking on to make a movie. Bad business.

      I can't claim that Half Blood Prince was as horrible as The Order of the Phoenix, which in my opinion (which is worth .02) needs to be done over again in a two part film, properly.

      I am scared of what is going to happen in Part 7A and 7B. What are they going to do about the Wedding? What about the house by the sea: any ideas? The fact that they have taken such liberties with the book(s) (burning Weasley's House now, for example), leaving out so much pertainent stuff that I wonder WHAT is going to happen next...It's hard to believe that these Screen Plays have been looked over by Jo wonders, hmm?

    • profile image

      Jay 7 years ago

      I totally agree on the fact that the 6th movie was destroyed. I was so pissed when they didn't even show the battle and the whole tying the shoe in the room of requirement was was retarded. For one that part doesn't even relate to the book in the slightest and also, why would you tie someone else's shoe.. Now they are making the 7th and part 1 and 2 (Greedy bastards) Part 1 comes out in November

      and then in July 2011 part 2 comes out.

    • profile image

      Walt Dismal 7 years ago

      I loathe Yates' work. Only Uwe Boll could have screwed up the film as badly. A grim, drab, muddled, cheerless, unentertaining movie. For heaven's sake, Warner Bros. This made Spider-Man 3 look like Shakespeare.

    • profile image

      Jake 7 years ago

      Holy crap I've read all the Harry potter books many times and the 6th movie is absolutely NOTHING like anything from the book. I was looking forward to watching it but uhh... Yeah it's terrible

    • profile image

      HARRYPOTTERMANIAC 8 years ago

      agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!this movie was awful!!!!!!!!I have read all the books for at least 7 times each and i know every detail!!!!!!!!I cant understand how the director going to end the last movie if the sixth movie has so many mistakes!!!!!!Bad direction,but acting(mostly Harry-Daniel) bad use of the book......I BEG YOU DAVID YATES READ THE BOOK...THE SEVENT BOOK....LOVE IT AND THEN MAKE THE MOVIE...SO YOU CAN NOT MAKE MISTAKES!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Digit23 8 years ago

      I will put down the reason this movie is so poor to two things:

      1) David Yates is a horrible director. Anyone who has seen Order of the Phoenix knows that.

      2) Rowling herself screwed up. Anyone else have a feeling that books 5,6 and 7 just didn't make it? Goblet of Fire was great. Voldemort and his reign of terror returns after a brilliant plan carried out by a brilliant henchman...and then what? 5th book - climax let down. Where it could have been more suspense, more terrifying plans, something in the style of Voldemort being an ingenious villain...where? Harry is suddenly equal to everyone and what he had done before is forgotten. No part where Harry has to race against time for excited pace of the novel.

      Then HBP - Snape is a villain from the start. Great. I only had to look at the first few pages to guess that something is going to happen to Dumbledore. Rowling seemed to be now taking away from the magic of the novels in favor of something along the lines of "Twilight". The book felt weak and uttely a failure at the best. Rowling was losing it.

      Deathly Hallows - I was sad. Harry and his friends seem to survive only by pure luck all the time, they only defeat Voldemort by luck (oh, guess what? I disarmed Malfoy, so the Elder Wand is mine). Then rushing to hurry up and clean up the story quickly with two Horcruxes destroyed in a matter of 1 hour and Voldemort is quickly killed off with no attempt at plot complexities whatsoever.

      5,6 and 7 were written extremely poorly. That's the real reasons movies 5 and 6 sucked, and that's why the two Deathly Hallows movies are not going to be worth the money either. Even fanfiction did better.

    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      I have yet to see this movie. I have read the book and based on that alone I wasn't over inclined to see the movie. I feel even less driven to see it. Harry Potter started out well, but by this episode I was more than tired of the 'poor me' Harry Angst.

      Great review and hope you were able to recover from opening night pain.

    • profile image

      KWC 8 years ago

      About the cuts, thank you. I am glad that I am not the only one to see how pathetic they were. In fact to not the point where you could not really call this a movie. For example, the scene where Harry asks his new potions teacher about what happened with Tom for the first time. At the end of the scene they are leaving the office together after having the fight then cut to the teacher shutting the little window on the door on Harry which is suppose to be a few days later. It was rushed. Maybe of lack of time well they were able to add in two scenes that were never in the book and really have no point to be in there. The opening scene in the dinner and Harry having interest with the worker. To be honest it was also out of character I think. Also the scene where they go home for Christmas and are attacked by death eaters. However the cuts were the worst thing about the film. It was as if they didn't know where they were going. Worst editing I have seen in a professional film by far.

    • profile image

      Don Seesareu 8 years ago

      I hated this new Harry Potter movie. I was wondering, "What The Hell am I'm watching?" This movie follows the book extremely loosely and has none of the charm that the book had. I wasn't into Harry Potter until the second or third film. I've thought of these movies as being above average or decent. The whole cast and film crew phoned in this movie. My dear friend Mr. RKO went with me to this film because he was a big Harry Potter fan and I'm a semi-fan of Harry Potter and he told me that he won't watch another Harry Potter movie again and I can't blame him. This movie had a scant few good bits and that was it! Thus far, this movie is the worst film of the year in my opinion. I'm giving it a 3.5/10. Um, y'know, the crowd was dead for most of this film, I will say that, the crowd wasn't into this film as a whole.

    • silverwindintx profile image

      silverwindintx 8 years ago from Burnet, TX

      I have read all of the Harry Potter books....I love them! But I absolutely HATE the many things are left out that are crucial to what is and will be going on that it isn't even funny. I was so disappointed in Order of the Phoenix that I don't even want to see Half-Blood Prince. And BTW marnold - just for info's sake - Snape DOES end up being a good guy after's all in Deathly Hollows

    • mproctor profile image

      mproctor 8 years ago from Boston, MA

      That's a really good point, Marnold. The fact that Snape was revealed as a villain in the beginning of the movie and then completely ignored until the end of it was really sad. There could have been so much delicious tension there. But alas, it just sucked.

    • profile image

      marnold 8 years ago

      So Snape was the Half Blood Prince right? And that's the title of the movie? Hm, so what? Why was there any urgency about finding out who graffitied in Harry Potter's textbook? I got the impression they were investigating the identity of the HBP for curiosity's sake. As far as I could tell, apart from the scribbles, there was nothing of significance about this figure at all. Most of the film Harry was more concerned with doing what Dumbledore told him and investigating the villain, Voldemort. I didn't even get the impression that the HBP was even a suspected bad guy until I found out it was Snape.

      The annoying thing for me was that I found out Snape was a bad guy at the beginning of the film. I spent the rest of the film expecting that Snape would have some cool way of getting out of his unbreakable vow, because the revelation that Snape was a baddie was very significant, and putting this at the film's beginning where it would have zero dramatic effect was just stupid unless there was a double-cross somewhere. But no, no double-cross, just unsurprising confirmation of Snape's evilness when Snape kills DD. No drama whatsoever.

    • profile image

      lolcater 8 years ago

      man this film was honest to god shit. i havnt read book 6-7 so i was furious when i left the theatre. let me get this straight, the death eaters teleport in, kill dumbledore without him doing anything to stop malfoy disarming him then they WALK OUT THE FRONT DOOR without mad eye moody or tonks or the order of the phoenix doing anything? and dumbledores army sleeps through it? also they didnt show if hagrid was in his house when it burnt down. terrible. i hope number seven wasnt as much garbage as this

    • mproctor profile image

      mproctor 8 years ago from Boston, MA

      Rupert may have been better but that's still pretty far from good. heheh

    • profile image

      Thawn 8 years ago

      You share my opinions exactly! The first time I saw it I was completely confused and I thought it was incredibly rushed! I haven't read the book, and you're right - I didn't have a clue what was going on in this film. I've watched the previous five films so many times I could probably recite the entire scripts.

      My boyfriend took me to see it yesterday again, because he's read all the books and enjoyed the film the first time, and seeing it a second time didn't help. When it had finished I had to ask him what happened and what didn't happen here there and everywhere to make minor sense or it all!

      According to what he's told me, I think that they've wasted so much of the film on the trio growing up and concentrating on their teenage hormones, when they could have used the time making the main plot of the book more exciting in the film.

      I have to say though, Rupert Grint's acting in this film is so much better!

    • profile image

      cam 8 years ago

      hey u r right about the wrong seen of ginny tieding harry's shoe i didn;t like it u r right the movie had a twist of love n crush on this one but its all right i like it anyway it has his contra n many pros it wasnt at all a waste of time i have read n reread all the books n its great i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • mproctor profile image

      mproctor 8 years ago from Boston, MA

      You're right Sweetangel. He was paralyzed in the book but he was -not- paralyzed in the film. That's another one of those times that the films assumed we all read the book but I don't like to take that stuff for granted. A film should stand alone.

      In the film Harry is just being dumb or afraid but neither emotion shows up on his face during the whole scene.

    • Sweetangel0417 profile image

      Sweetangel0417 8 years ago

      hey I agree with you that the movie was awful but a paragraph you wrote caught my eye. "This is a major turning point in our character’s lives but in this film it is handled so poorly that I really didn’t care about it at all. Maybe it was due to the fact that everyone already knew it was going to happen anyway but not a single person in the theatre seemed to react when this happened: First there is a really intense yet whiny scene between Malfoy and Dumbledore and then the villains walk in, Snape shows up, Bam, Dumbledore dead. It happened that quickly in the film too and Harry watches the whole thing with a look of mild discontent when he could have easily saved them all. " If you paid attention in the book Harry was paraylzed by a spell and could not move so he couldn't save dumbledore. other than then that the movie was terrible they left alot of main points in the book out of the movie.

    • mproctor profile image

      mproctor 8 years ago from Boston, MA

      Yeah, I would much rather have gone to see Public Enemies than Harry Potter. Believe me.

    • fierycj profile image

      fierycj 8 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa

      Ha ha ha. I had to laugh all through this hub. You're hilarious, man. This is funny stuff. I'm not the type of guy who's moved by movie hype. Like the type of movies that get me are probably those types that people hardly ever talk about. Let check out this movie - Public Enemies in the box office. Brilliant stuff, perfect directing, acting and dialogue, but you dont hear nothing about it. All you hear about is friggin Harry Potter and Transformers 2...i hate that phony stuff.