Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  -
Customer reviews (av rating: 3.5):
Magic for all muggles : It's Harry's second year at Hogwarts and Voldermort hasn't given up on trying to kill off our hero, Harry Potter and rise to power again. This year he's enlisting the help of a giant snake which puts a strain on Harry's friendships as he's the only one who can hear what it's about to do next.
This marks the second successful transformation from page to screen for the Harry Potter series. A new adventure, better acting and some sterling performances from some of the best vintage, british acting talents make this another great film for the family friendly shelf.
Not as good as the first : This Harry Potter movie was quite boring and silly. The idea was ok but the script was dreadful. I was more impressed with the acting in the first one. Overall it is a disappointing movie. 2 out of 5.
An improvement : Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book and movie of what is to be a seven part series. It is, like its immediate predecessor, directed by Chris Columbus and uses most of the same cast and locations as The Philosopher's Stone. The similarities don't end there though because the plot of the movie is not that far removed from the first and many of the set pieces seem to occur in the same order and in very similar fashion. As it is though the Chamber of Secrets is stronger and more enjoyable, managing to spice up its formula nicely.
Harry Potter is due to start his second year at Hogwarts, having successfully seen off a version of Lord Voldemort at the end of his first year, when he is encouraged not to go back by a house elf named Dobby. He ignores the advice and his second year is punctuated by him hearing voices, classmates being petrified by an unknown force, and a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher who is more (or possibly less) than he seems. An element of mystery allows Harry and his friends to act like the Famous Five while they try and figure out just what is responsible for the petrifications. The overall story arc that will run through the rest of the books and films begin in earnest here and some key sub-plots as well. In particular the "pure-bloods" against the "mud-bloods", a nice way to start showing kids how ugly racism is, starts here.
As with the first movie this has a stellar cast, although a criticism is that many great actors like Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman don't have much to do. Shirley Henderson as the ghostly Moaning Myrtle is excellent and Kenneth Branagh hams and camps it up to his eyeballs in a brilliant turn as Gilderoy Lockhart. The three child leads are much the same as they were in the first movie, Daniel Radcliffe is wooden, Emma Watson deeply irritating, and Rupert Grint enjoyable to watch. The effects are strong, although Dobby looks unconvincing, and the giant Basilisk at the finale looks great.
Overall the Chamber of Secrets is an improvement over the Philosopher's Stone, although its still not a great movie (that would come with number three). It is an enjoyable movie though that is great for kids, should be bearable for their parents, and is highly watchable. Ideally I'd give this 3-and-a-half stars- its better than average but not quite 4 out of 5.
better than the first : In this second movie we find quite the same flaws and assets of the first one: direction and screenplay are rather weaker than the rest, they would have needed better editing, but they are somewhat better than in the first.
Probably because of the fact that characters and settings have already been introduced before, the movie concentrates more on the actual story which flows well to its satisfying end. Acting is superb and the quality of the filming as well as the scenes nearly breathtaking.
In this second movie too there are several variations in the plot but the spirit of the book remains untouched.
Average : Well what can I say. I was ever so dissapointed in this film. I read the story and it was amazing, this film just doesn't live up to the book. Once again, Daniel Ratcliffe is so wooden as Harry. It is getting annoying watching him. All the other actors are brilliant and are so like the characters in the book, but the one character they HAD to get right, they messed up.
The Prisoner of Azkabane is much better than this one.
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