As of this writing I have read the four available Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. They have gotten progressively longer and darker, but have remained very entertaining. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is the second book; Year Two of his chronicles at Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry. Ergo, itís also the second film, as all seven proposed books are intended to become movies.
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERERíS STONE, the first film, was a phenomenon. It broke opening weekend records (later surpassed by SPIDER-MAN ) and was a great movie overall. Itís biggest flaw was that they were too faithful to the book, and it felt kinda busy.
Well, this movie seems kinda busy too, but it too is a great movie.
All the principals are back for the attack: Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Rupert Grint as Ron, Emma Watson as Hermione, as well as the great Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, Alan Rickman as Snape, and Robbie Coltraine as Hagrid.
Also back is the late Richard Harris, who passed away just a few weekís before the movieís release, as Professor Dumbledore. He brought a quiet dignity to the role, and whoever takes over the role in future films will have big shoes to fill.
The young cast isnít perfect, but theyíre very likeable. As the lead, Radcliffe is improved from last time, but still seems a little rough around the edges. Still he does a fine job overall, and I look forward to his next outing.
New to the series are the always great Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart and Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy, father of Harryís nemesis Draco. Both are fine actors and played their roles nicely. All in all, the cast was very good.
Adapted by Steven Kloves, this film is again directed by Chris Columbus, and I think he outdid himself. Visually, this is a great flick. Even Dobby, the house elf, all CGI all the time, looked great. Kinda creepy, kinda ugly, but great.
This film is darker than the first, literally and figuratively, but there is the same undeniable magic in the air. For more than two and a half hours you are taken away from the mundane real world. I canít wait for the next book, and while the next film will have a new director, I canít wait for it either.