Continuing on with the Harry Potter series, is film number two. For whatever reason, this one I feel as though I’ve seen less than the third and fourth. Or maybe it just doesn’t stick to your bones the same as the third and fourth. Either way, off we go…

I watched HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (2002) on 1.7.12. It was, guessing here, my third or fourth viewing of the film.

I can see why the series moved on from Chris Columbus after this film. This movie isn’t bad, or a train wreck, or anything that serious. But the tone of the series really begins to shift, and a darker point of view was needed going forward. Still too much of Ron Weasley mugging for the camera and making exaggerated ‘comedic’ faces like he was in a little kids movieand not enough real darkness to offset some of the lighter bits.

I do love certain sequences in this film. We get to meet the Weasley clan. The Dobby stuff is entertaining (and ultimately vindicating), I love the duel, and the final battle with the basilisk definitely works. But the stuff having to do with the flying car is really off and seems to detached from the rest of the film. Also, the spider sequence bugs me (heh heh heh) because the spider is portrayed, basically, as a Bond villain who tells the heroes what they need to know before trying to have them killed.

The acting here contains a noticeable improvement (Grint’s exaggerated faces notwithstanding), as the kids are getting older. The Harry and Dumbledore scenes are particularly strong. Also, Robbie Coltrane really wears Hagrid perfectly by this second installment, after being slightly unsure of just how intelligent or bumbling he was in the first movie. Kenneth Branagh really adds an element as the self-absorbed Lockhart. I wish Lockhart was a bigger part of the series, actually.

The story has a stronger villain than the first, but Rowling wisely made him mentally stronger, not physically stronger. Harry still needs assistance to win the day (as he should), but he does more than he did in the first film. It’s a nice build, and one which continues to help the series grow slowly, rather than rushing it all out. The sense of discovery at Hogwarts has moved on, replaced by the sense of discovery, by Harry, of what he himself is and can do. These scenes are well written, and well played by Daniel Radcliffe.

For me, the first two movies were good. But it was in the third movie that this series found its stride. I’m looking forward to getting at some of these later films now!





~ by johnlink00 on January 8, 2012.

One Response to “johnlink ranks HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (2002)”

  1. […] HP2 link here […]

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