Review: Chamber of Secrets

We managed to score a babysitter tonight and went out to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets tonight.

I enjoyed the first movie but felt that the plot kept lurching to a halt so they could shoehorn in exposition here and there. Also, there was such a slavish devotion to keeping everything as identical to the book as possible, the movie had no flow and instead felt like a series of vignettes. A “Socercer’s Stone Best Hits” type thing.

Not so with this movie. The movie had much better flow. The plot kept moving forward and I never felt any jarring lurches through the entire movie. In fact, I was so tuned to how the first movie was constructed that I was actually amazed when we went from “If A, then B therefore we must do C” followed immediately by “C” rather than a digression to visit “L, M, N, O, and P.”

They also made a very smart decision: they dispensed with much of the exposition. Harry just whips out his father’s invisibility cloak. There’s no brief digression into the fact that he got it mysteriously in the first movie and, gosh, it makes the wearer invisible. Nope, they just say they’re going to use it and POOF! they’re invisible. Over and over again the movie relied heavily on your knowing what’s going on. And I, for one, am thankful. The number of people coming to this movie who have never read any of the books or seen the first movie are far fewer than those who have seen or read. And even for those few who haven’t, they’ll catch up pretty quickly.

I won’t rate it as I always love movies when I first get out of them. It will take me a few days to find more flaws in it and start bitching about them.

There’s only one movie I ever actually hated during and immediately after and that was Brannagh’s Frankenstein, a truly abysmal movie. Luckily, he turned in a much better performenace as Gilderoy Lockhart!

Oh, look at the time. I need to get to sleep. My five days off from work are now over and I must return to that which pays for all of this.