Editor’s Note: Until Monday’s screening, Mike Oz had never seen or read anything from the “Harry Potter” series. And yet, he still wanted to write a review. For a more informed opinion, read Donald Munro’s review. Warning: spoilers ahead.
In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” we pick up the story with Harry chillin’ in a diner about to get groupie love from a waitress. She recognizes that he’s a famous X-men guy or something and lets him know that she’s diggin’ his magic wand.
Then this hippy Santa-looking dude comes in and totally C-blocks Harry. They hold hands and are transported somewhere else to meet this dude named Horace Slughorn, who may or may not be related to the candy-making dude trying to steal Willy Wonka’s chocolate recipes. Both of these stories happen in England, so they could be brothers. For the record: I like crossover episodes.
Harry and Hippy Santa recruit Slughorn to come back to the Magic School and then Harry gets sent to some house that looks like Big Thunder Mountain. Some other stuff happens, then eventually Harry and his crew are on their way to the Magic School.
Harry thinks this other kid — who looks like the spawn of Johnny Lawrence from “Karate Kid,” so we’ll call him Wizard Zabka — is plotting something, so Harry spies on him on the train. Wizard Zabka knows what Harry is up to and casts some whoop-ass spell on him. Chump!
Eventually, we learn that Wizard Zabka is working for the big bad guy (who we haven’t seen yet) trying to kill the Hippy Santa. He’s kinda conflicted (just like his pops, Johnny Lawrence, when about to destroy Daniel-san), but is trying to sack up and get the job done.
There’s an Undertaker-looking teacher (previously in “Die Hard”) who has vowed to help Wizard Zabka. Ohhhh, is somebody about to get their Anakin Skywalker on?!? Drama!
So school starts and since Harry is “The Chosen One” he gets to take some class that he wasn’t allowed to before. Talk about special treatment! He goes to some potion-making class that Slugworth is teaching and gets his hands on a book with all the answers in it.
At this point, I’m starting to think Harry Potter isn’t The Chosen One, he’s just some cheater. The book hooks Harry up with all kinds of secrets — kinda like when Biff got the sports almanac in “Back to the Future II.” There’s no Deloreans in this movie, though. Although that totally woulda been better than those flying brooms.
After some other stuff happens, Harry Potter learns that Hippy Santa wants him to suck a memory out of Slughorn’s brain. That’s not private-school secret code talk for sex, either. Apparently, these magic people are able to watch each other’s memories. Weirdos.
Harry then gets HIGH — really how is this kid supposed to be the hero? — and goes to a spider funeral, then gets a drunken Slugworth to give him the memory. Again, not a euphemism.
Oh, and somewhere before this, Harry almost killed Wizard Zabka, but later we find out that Undertaker Teacher saved him. In the middle, all these kids are kissing up on each other, but all that doesn’t really matter to the main plot. Harry almost got some from his homeboy’s sister, but then some bad guys came and C-blocked him again. Sorry, H-Peezy!
Back to the main story: Once they have the memory, Harry and Hippy Santa learn about how the Big Bad Guy — who we haven’t really seen yet, except for in flashbacks — split his soul into various parts and he can’t be killed until all the pieces are destroyed.
At which point, Big Bad Guy is probably thinking, “Oh, moded you, Harry! You ain’t that great!” At least I would be thinking that, cuz Harry Potter is sort of an overrated punk. So Harry and Hippy Santa go on this mission where they almost die … but it all works out.
When they get back to Magic School, Big Bad Buy’s cronies are coming for Hippy Santa. Wizard Zabka is back too.
I’ll cut right to the chase: Hippy Santa gets killed by Undertaker Teacher after Wizard Zabka couldn’t do it. Harry Potter, meanwhile, watched like a punk. Daniel LaRusso would have crane-kicked a fool — just sayin’.
A bunch of other melodramatic stuff happens, then the movie ends.
Overall, I thought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was pretty good. It kept my attention — mainly because it made me think of “The Karate Kid” and “Back to the Future 2″ and how awesome those movies were.
I was most interested in the character development of Harry, who is supposed to the protagonist, but who we saw at various times lying, cheating, getting high and not helping out his homeboys. I think Harry Potter needs to check himself before the next movie comes out.