Like a fine wine or Mandy Moore, the Harry Potter films keep getting better with age, and the latest installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is no exception. By the far the funniest, yet also scariest, of all the films (how it has a PG rating is baffling), the sixth book and film act as a set-up to everything that will go down in the final installment (which has been split into two movies being released in 2010 and 2011). There is plenty of action, but Muggles who have not yet read the final book may grow impatient at what seems like a lot of exposition but very little resolution. If you are a Potterphile then you will be pleased with the film, and though they may have left out certain elements of the book, you must remember that this is a two-hour adaptation of a 650-page book, and not a BBC miniseries, so some details must be left for the printed page.
There is no point in explaining the plot because if you are someone who has not followed the books or films, the synopsis will seem like giberrish and you will most likely be left wondering when Gandalf or Frodo returns. The film never lags in it's two and a half hour running time, and as usual, the three leads, Harry, Ron and Hermoine are at their best (with Emma Watson giving her best performance yet as Hermoine). There's a new Hogwarts hottie played by Freddie Stroma which will surely have all the girls and gay boys's wizard robes in a twist (oh, what one would do for an invisibility cloak in the Quidditch locker room...), and yes the film cultimates with a death, but it ends on a somewhat happy note, which we know will be the last one for quite sometime as dark forces enclose around Harry and his friends. But if Half-Blood Prince is any indication, the last installments will truly be worth the wait.
Now head over to Out.com to check out a slideshow of Daniel Radcliffe through the ages.
-- CHRISTOPHER RUDOLPH
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