Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: The same people who were in the first movie, plus Jason Isaacs and Kenneth Branagh
Viewed in theaters: 11/16/02
My Harry Potter reviews continues with the second installment of Harry's adventures at Hogwarts! Chamber of Secrets is the second shortest novel (the first has the least amount of pages), but the longest movie, clocking in at about two hours and forty minutes. Now that's not counting the final chapter, which of course will be the longest since they're dividing it into two films and the other movies aren't that far behind in length. My reaction to this movie is about the same as the first one: loved it the first time I ever saw it; however, the next few times I viewed it, it grew tiresome and the magic was lost.
I'm not going to bother going over the plot since everyone already knows what happens in all the books, so it would be redundant. If you're one of the five people in the world who have never read/seen Harry Potter, well, I'm sure you're not reading this anyway!
Of the two Potter movies Columbus directed, I liked this one a little bit more, but that's not saying much. He should stick to his American comedies - I still love watching Adventures in Baby-Sitting and Home Alone, two movies I grew up with. One of the things I like better about CoS than SS is that we 've already been introduced to the (main) characters, so we can just jump into the story without all the introductions.
Though we are introduced to new characters: Dobby the House Elf (a character who I have always hated, even though .....SPOILER ALERT!.....I did perhaps shed one single tear when he died in the last book), who perhaps would have been more groundbreaking if The Two Tower's Gollum hadn't been featured that very same year; Branagh as Professor Lockhart, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher (but let's face it: the DADA teachers didn't get interesting until the third year, the first two are just filler); and Isaacs in a blond wig as Draco Malfoy's father. Oh, and there's Colin Creevy, but nobody cares about him since this is the only movie he was in as he seemed to be replaced by non-book character Nigel in the fourth movie. I'm sure they won't show his....SPOILER ALERT!.....death in the last movie. (Or they'll just have Nigel die).
Our three young actors seem to be more comfortable in front of the camera, but there are still some inconsistencies with their acting. They're still cute, of course, and Harry's and Ron's voices have both changed over the summer. Daniel Radcliffe is much better this time around; Rupert Grint sometimes overdid it with the mugging faces, especially during the spider scene, but the one time when I believed him as scared was when he found out his sister was in the Chamber; and Emma Watson wasn't as snobby as she was in the first movie, but the scene in the Herbology class made me cringe because it sounded like she was reading her lines from a cue card.
The ending of the movie made me roll my eyes just like the first one did. For some reason, the ending becomes a big Hagrid love-fest where all the students are cheering for him while in a mob and trying to touch his hands like young girls at a Jonas Brothers' concert.