Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Hogwarts Year Two

Time for movie number two. The Chamber of Secrets brings us the next part to the story of Lord Voldemort.  It gives us a glimpse into the boyhood of the villain of the series.  Also in this movie we are introduced to quite a few other characters that are huge later in the series.  Add to that the fighting of the Basilisk at the end and you have a fitting end to the last Richard Harris-as-Dumbledore Potter-Verse movie.

Plot Synopsis (There Be Spoilers):

Harry-Potter-and-the-Chamber-of-SecretsHarry is headed back to school and this year there is a killer in the halls and literally in the walls of Hogwarts.  There is of course a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Gilderoy Lockhart. And there is also a new set of students at Hogwarts as new first years start at the school.  We learn that a boy named Tom Riddle had accused Hagrid of keeping a killer monster in the castle when they were at school together.  And though it seems this monster has returned, it is not Hagrid’s overgrown pet.  We also learn that Tom Riddle is in fact Lord Voldemort in younger form.  A form that inhabits a diary that Ginny Weasley picks up and it takes control of her.  The killer in Hogwarts is actually a Basilisk that lives below the school in the pipes.  A battle ensues between Harry and Tom, in which Harry kills the enormous basilisk and he kills the diary version of Riddle as well.

The Good

Jason Isaacs – Lucius Malfoy – Jason Isaacs is one of the best villains working in Hollywood today.  First got to experience him in a movie when I watched The Patriot with Mel Gibson back in the day and he was by far one of the best actors in that film as well.  As Lucius Malfoy, throughout the series, he goes from highborn walking, talking evil to being a broken and rejected tool (using all meanings of the word) at the end of the series.  His final confrontation with Dumbledore and Harry in Chamber of Secrets is the best few minutes of the movie.

Mr. Potter! Lucius Malfoy. We meet at last. Forgive me, your scar is legend. As, of course, is the wizard who gave it to you.

John Cleese – Nearly Headless Nick – I love John Cleese and his inclusion as one of the Hogwart’s ghost is perfect.  In the books there is a lot more to the ghosts that they could not cover in the movies so if you have not explored the books yet, what are you waiting for.  Go read them … now.

Kenneth Branagh – Gilderoy Lockhart – As I said when they announced that he was going to be directing Thor, if you need someone to ‘do the thing right,’ then you get a Shakespearean actor.  Branagh was incredible.  He chewed the sets around the rest of the cast and not only did his garish attire make him stand out whenever he stepped into a scene but his presence captured you the moment he opened his mouth.  Also, they could not have cast this character any better.  Branagh could have walked in and played any other character in the series but he IS Gilderoy Lockhart.

Gilderoy Lockhart: Ah… yes, well, that can sometimes happen. Um, but, uh, the point is, uh, you can no longer feel any pain. And, very clearly, the bones are not broken.
Hagrid: Broken? There’s no bones left!
Gilderoy Lockhart: Much more flexible, though.

The Bad

Dobby – I hate Dobby.  I hated him in the books, I hated him in the movie and later, I will be saying that I shed not one tear when he is taken out in the Deathly Hallows.  I don’t like House Elves, I would not be a member of SPEW (read the books if you don’t get that).

The Ugly

Nothing, so far the Potter-Verse movies are 2 for 2 on No Uglies for Film Friday (Dobby almost made the list though), we will see if they can keep that going.

Loved the movie, loved the book.  Chamber of Secrets is one of my favorites due to the characters that were introduced and of course the inclusion of Mr Branagh.  Great flick.