Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Chris Columbus
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Thursday, January 04, 2007
As is usually the case in sequels, this one doesn’t bother introducing the same characters we already know, but instead goes directly to their new adventures. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are now 12 years old, and feel more at home at Hogwarts than before. Strange occurrences don’t take long to begin, but Harry had an advance when a House Elf called Dobby (a fine CGI creature voiced by Toby Jones) visited him at home before school started, warning him about great danger at Hogwarts.
Indeed, very fearful events happen, as the Chamber of Secrets is supposedly open after 50 years. We learn that the mythical chamber was created by one of the founders of Hogwarts, and locked with a deadly monster inside. The mystery gets thicker as Harry is believed to be responsible for endangering the school and its students. In the way, Hagrid the gamekeeper (Robbie Coltrane) is also accused, while Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), the vicious father of Harry’s archenemy Draco (Tom Felton), sticks his nose in the business.
Not only do the kids feel more comfortable at Hogwarts (incidentally, the three leads notably improved their performances), but the audience does too. We feel more at home there, not as alienated as before and somehow we believe in this world of magic increasingly. That’s because the whole world is recreated once again including the wondrous production design and John Williams’ now familiar tunes (though hardly propositional here, due to Williams’ scheduling conflicts and William Ross’ job adapting the music).
Special effects did improve. Now the Quidditch match looks much better, and also feels better since it’s more relevant to the story than it was in the first film. Dobby is a work of art, as is the monster with which Harry battles towards the end.
Adding to the fun is Kenneth Branagh as Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, whose celebrity status far exceeds his actual talents. Unfortunately his role made much more sense in the book, but he’s still welcome here. Shirley Henderson is game as the girl ghost Moaning Myrtle, Mark Williams appropriate as Arthur Weasley, and Christian Coulson is haunting as Tom Riddle. Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, John Cleese and many others reprise their roles successfully. Little Bonnie Wright, as Ginny Weasley, plays a pivotal role this time around.
Still much to improve, but quite a successful improvement. Good!
“Your scar is legend. As of course, is the wizard who gave it to you.”
Gon C Curiel en Twitter | CriticSociety en Twitter | CriticSociety en Facebook
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter
Other reviews of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002): Morris