Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) review


This second installment to the Harry Potter film series is a big improvement over its predecessor. The story is darker, the acting is a bit more mature and experienced, the effects are cooler and plentiful, and it follows the book almost extreme in accuracy, aside from a couple of subplots.

PLOT:Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends are back this year, but things aren't going right at Hogwarts or in Harry's life. From a strange visit from pesky house elf, Dobby (Toby Jones), to not being able to get on the train at Platform 9 3/4, Harry is just receiving bad luck all over. The worst part of the trouble at Hogwarts would have to be the students and beings being petrified around the school, with hints toward a place still unfound in Hogwarts, the Chamber of Secrets, which is said to be ruled by the heir of Salazar Slytherin. It's up to Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) to solve the the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets, dealing with Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and his mean-spirited father, Lucius (Jason Isaacs), as well as the self-absorbed Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockheart (Kenneth Branagh). It's a great plot executed quite brilliantly.

ACTING:The performances in this film were very much improved all-around for the younger actors/actresses, as well as some adults. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson seemed to have gotten the gist of acting now as they grow up, as you can see a bit more maturity in Harry, Ron, and Hermione's roles. Among the more experienced actors, I believe the best were done by Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockheart, Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, Alan Rickman as Snape, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, Richard Harris as Dumbledore, and Julie Walters as Molly Weasley. All of these performances were either just as good as the first one or very well acted for the characters being played. I was quite impressed with a few performances. The performances in this film overall were really great. The other performances I'd like to mention as good would be Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy, Christian Coulson as Tom Riddle, Toby Jones as Dobby, Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley, Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley, and Julian Glover as Aragog.

SCORE:The score in this second film is just about as good as the first, done still John Williams along with William Ross. The score definitely got the job done, though it wasn't as fresh as the first was.

EFFECTS:The effects in this film were really good and even better than the first. From the spiders in the forest to the basilisk near the end, these effects were top notch and very detailed throughout. I enjoyed the near realism in some of them.

OTHER CONTENT:This would actually have to be one of my favorite Harry Potter films for its great show of improvement and darker tone to the story, as well as great character development among more characters. This has to be one of the most improved of the Harry Potter films, for the youth actors went from inexperienced to fully aware of their surroundings. I also enjoy the darker tone of the film as compared to the first one. This addition's story was a dark trip through the unknown fear inside. I appreciated the character development in this film as well. We learn more about each of the main child actors, such as Ron, Hermione, and Draco. I love how quickly that picked up. This film was just a great improvement over its predecessor overall.

OVERALL,an awesome Harry Potter film with an great plot, much-improved plot, good score, very detailed effects, a very much darker tone, and great character development as well as a close follow to the book, however, some subplots are left out and there is room for improvement.

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