“Years ago, I knew a boy who made all the wrong choices. He seemed a student like any other.”
This sixth film series installment, based on the best selling J.K. Rowling books, reveals more of the evil Lord Voldemort's past while focusing on budding romances and the all important impending showdown with the one who begins with “V”. Fans and general audiences alike can enjoy great action, drama, comedy and fantasy for 2 hours and 23 minutes. Delayed from its original release date of November 21, 2008, this installment begins three straight summers of Harry Potter mania. Background knowledge of the book series helps, especially among the British accents and word references, but isn’t necessarily vital because filmmakers communicate this adaptation very well.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson all return to their roles as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry never has the easy route (or the clearest), which makes him an engaging character, especially as Radcliffe grows into a stronger actor. Harry’s maturing life leaves little need for characters like his Aunt and Uncle Dursley and bulky cousin Dudley as he discovers more about Voldemort’s past.
As in the past film series, filmmakers orient audiences a bit with a beginning sequence in the real “Muggle” world. Harry’s growing romantic desires occasionally cloud his current views, but Albus Dumbledore, played by Michael Gambon, keeps him on task. The romantic elements provide interest for younger audiences from scenarios involving love potions, hidden feelings and pure kindness.
Elarica Gallagher, in a star-making appearance as a waitress, catches Harry’s eye in a diner, but his true romantic interests turn to Ron’s sister, Ginny, played by Bonnie Wright. The intelligently observant, yet delightfully odd Luna Lovegood, played by Evanna Lynch, continues to support Harry while Cho Chang still pines for the famous Harry, but basically gets phased out for a more focused character cache.