"the special effects are nothing short of magnificent"

It’s a very strange sensation watching these Harry Potter films.  From the original film the Philosopher’s Stone seven years ago to the latest offering, we’ve literally watched Harry Potter grow from a boy to a young man – it’s hard to imagine that the sweet-faced kid from all those years ago now has stubble!

Indeed the theme of ‘growing up’ is heavily woven into the story here, and romance is in the air for the trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione – although not necessarily in the manner they would like.  These budding intimate liaisons provide the source for a lot of humour – a new element to the series that adds to the enjoyment levels of the film.

As we’ve come to expect from the Potter films, the special effects are nothing short of magnificent, with Dumbledore’s swirling maelstrom of fire being a standout example, and these help to fully immerse the viewer into the magical world of Hogwarts.

The returning cast fall magnificently back into their roles, with Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) and Alan Rickman (Severus Sape) particular favourites of mine.  Somewhat surprisingly, given his recent acting plaudits, I found Daniel Radcliffe’s performance to be somewhat wooden, coming across as very forced at times.

Despite this, ‘The Half-Blood Prince’ must surely count as a ‘must see’ film.  Its most endearing quality, and indeed a quality of all the Harry Potter films, is the sheer excellence of the story.  From start to finish, the quality of the tale that J.K. Rowling has created is second to none.  With the underlying story concerning Lord Voldemort reaching an irresistible climax, ‘The Half Blood Prince’ takes us one step closer to revealing the fate of Harry – I can’t wait.