The second Harry Potter film picks up with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) back with his awful Aunt and Uncle, counting down the days until he returns to Hogwarts, or until he hears from his dear friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson). While held up in his room being neglected by his muggle family, he is visited by a small, eccentric house elf named Dobby (Toby Jones), who warns Harry not to return to Hogwarts. Harry, ignoring the warnings, returns to the Wizarding World only to discover that there are many threats he must face, as well as an ominous voice in Harry's head. It's now up to Harry and his two friends to protect the people of Hogwarts they love (and some they don't) from the danger's that lie in the so-called Chamber of Secrets.
I was quite uninterested for the majority of the first act. The first hour or so is almost beat for beat the first film. Harry get's rescued from his Aunt and Uncle's house, Harry goes to Diagon Alley, Harry goes to Hogwarts, and there's even a very similar, If not much better looking, match of Quidditch. Now, don't get me wrong, there was plenty of cute and memorable moments sprinkled throughout, but the similar structure took away some of the wonder I experienced during the first film. Even though I think the third act is by far the best part of this film, that too feels pretty similar to the finale of the first. One benefit of the film's structure is that the plot can be explored much earlier on, there's not as much setup as the first film. The Chamber of Secrets is mentioned very early on and that makes for a very mysterious threat over the course of the film's running time.
Okay, I have been way too negative, so lets change that. This film still has amazing, and I mean AMAZING characters. From the main trio to the wonderful supporting characters, every character here feels even more real than in previous films. I want to mention a few characters in particular, starting off with Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). He was a little brat in the first film, and that certainly doesn't change here, but I found him much more interesting in the sequel. He's just a kid so he's not too much of a threat yet, but with what they seem to be setting up with him, and his family, I can't wait. Another character that surprised me was Dobby. When you first meet him, he's a bit annoying (JACK NOTE: how dare you, Chirs), but he absolutely grows on you. There's a scene with him in the closing minutes that is probably my favorite scene in this whole film.
Overall, this second Harry Potter film didn't wow me like the first film, but because I know that the franchise is heading in a new direction with a new director, I still am craving the future films. This film is by no means awful, it just has a few kinks a little time in the editing room would have sorted out. This world is still magical and amazing. I continue to be mad at myself over the fact that I had not seen these films sooner. With that all said, I can now look forward to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and you can look forward to our review next weekend.