The ‘Potter’ series gets a boost with “The Chamber of Secrets,” Chris Columbus’ second outing at Hogwarts. This time out Harry, Hermione and Ron must discover what’s causing the paralyzing of students at school, a beast or monster perhaps, buried within the mysterious ‘chamber of secrets,’ and they must act fast as the victims are piling up, or the school will soon be closed.
This is a much darker, meatier film than we got the first time around. The story takes interesting turns, and the suspense actually keeps the audience on edge, huge Potter fanatics or not.’The Sorcerer’s Stone’ really strayed from any straight-forward plot mechanics and simply took us into its world and introduced the characters and purpose of magic. ‘Chamber of Secrets’ allows its characters to go further and work within the confines of an interesting story that actually holds some striking interest. And while I griped that the special effects were a bit lacking the first time around, this film steps it up considerably. The Quidditch sequences are much more fluid, the flying car sequences are a treat, and watch out for the dark forest with giant man-eating arachnids– good stuff!
I can complain about minor CGI characters or the film’s running time over and over, but it wouldn’t be worth my while. These movies are stuck at 2 1/2 hours roughly, and at least this one makes use of the time. With a production design like this, pitch perfect actors growing into their roles, and a solid story, ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ is definitely a worthy installment and an improvement over ‘Part One.’
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