Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (***)

Posted on November 17th, 2002 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

Chamber of Secrets is good, solid entertainment, and a worthy successor to the first Harry Potter film. The kids are all a year older, but that fits right into the story and seems completely natural. The story is exciting and well told, the acting is solid, and the special effects border on astonishing, even in this day and age. In fact, they are so well done that I didn’t even think to mention them until I stopped to think about the movie, and realized that I hadn’t noticed them (because they were so good).

FYI, I have not read any of the Harry Potter books, so I can’t comment on how the movie compares with the book, but Marie (who has read all the books) said that it was a faithful representation. But, from my perspective of someone not familiar with (or a fan of) the books, I can say that Chamber of Secrets stands on its own as a solid, entertaining film. You *should* see the first film first, though, to understand some of the characters and backstory, but don’t consider that a negative…I liked that this film did not try to “fill in the blanks” for those who hadn’t seen the first film.

************ SPOILER AHEAD ***********************

My one complaint/question regarding this film concerns a scene near the end. Hagrid returns to the Hogwarts dining hall, and is given a boisterous standing ovation. But he hasn’t really done anything to deserve one. My guess is that he is being cheered because a side-effect of the movie’s story is that Hagrid is shown to have been innocent of a past transgression, but it was nothing dramatic or Earth-shattering, so I’m not sure that’s what the ovation is for. If you can provide clarification, please feel free to post a response here. Thanks!

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