Harry Potter has returned for his second year at Hogwarts along with all his best pals and Draco the ultimate child douche. The second year gets slightly darker and more serious. Harry has been warned not to return to Hogwarts as terrible things are going to happen. Ignoring the warnings, Harry returns to Hogwarts to find out the warnings were all true. The fate of the school once again rests on Harry and his friends shoulders. They must solve the case, save the school and most importantly win the house cup. JK no one wants that again.
The best thing in this film for me has to be Kenneth Branagh. He makes the film. Branagh plays the cringe worthy Gilderoy Lockhart, the new professor at Hogwarts and Harry’s new defence against the dark arts teacher. Don’t worry Snape you’ll get there one day. Every scene he was in I found myself laughing and/ or smiling. He brings something new to the table that no Harry Potter film after does. This role could’ve been done terribly but I’m glad it went to Branagh. I feel no one else could have pulled it off so hats off to you Sir.
Something that was one of the worst parts of the first film turned out to be one of the most entertaining scenes in the entire film. The quidditch game was done excellently and really sucked me into the scene this time round. You could tell the film makers were more confident when filming it and that they had a better idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. However there is a down side to the quidditch which I will get to later.
The CGI in the previous HP outing was, let’s say dated. But this time round it was used to a very minimum and when it was used it was great. It’s a definite big step up from HP1 and made for much more realistic scenes. Most of the monsters and creatures in this outing are animatronic/ practical which is always an up for me when it is done well and it is done well. Aragog, The Basilisk, The Mandrakes and possibly more that I can’t remember but they were all a marvel to look at and really felt magical, fitting right into the world Chris Columbus magically directed.
The only stand out bad point I can find with this film is that it is very similar to the first film. Yes it is the same director and yes it is the same franchise but I think they made the correct move by changing directors for the next instalment. The films could have felt very repetitive and predictable but because the directors were changed we were saved from this. You can see the small glimpses of the repetitive future but thankfully it is just this one so we are quite safe now. The first two are detective stories and the following are there are stories with different plot points. I’m glad they made this decision.
Temp music. An issue recently exposed to the common man recently on YouTube, and thank the lord it was as HP2 uses this thing. During the quidditch match when Harry is being pursued by Draco as they both chase the snitch, the music used in this scene is remarkably similar to the music used in a scene from Attack of the Clones. Don’t get me wrong I hate Attack of the Clones but they cheated all the same. The thing is these films came out in the same year and both soundtracks were composed by John Williams. I don’t know how it happened but it did. I’m not going to talk too much about this issue as I plan on doing a separate article on it but go check out the tracks The Quidditch Match (4:05) and Zam the Assassin and the Chase Through Corruscant (2:33). They are almost exactly the same tune. It’s crazy.
Of course the performances were once again great and the main three have improved a lot from their first outing. John Williams of course shines once more in brining this world to life with a beautiful score even if he is just copying himself. Maybe there’s a reason for it IDK. Dobby. I don’t like the lad as much as every one else seems to but you know… He’s Dobby so… Yay? I went in to this film thinking it was my worst HP film but after watching it again I like it a lot more. It is much better paced than the previous one and goes for a slightly darker tone. Though I do prefer one to two.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – 3/5