Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

HarryPotterandtheChamberofSecrets Poster

Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Release: 15 November 2002 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 7.4/10

Runtime: 161min

Director: Chris Columbus

Writers: J.K. Rowling (novel), Steve Kloves (screenplay)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, 2001

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Please read the following with shrill Cockney accent: In this week’s 161-minute, ass-numbing episode of “Harry Potter,” watch as our favorite Hogwart wizard goes through puberty and is forced to unlock the Chamber of Secrets! What will little Harry Potter do when the higgeldy-piggeldy is out of the bag and all his friends are turned to stone? With the help of Ron, Hermione, and Ginny Weasley’s diary, Harry will once again save the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry from the dark forces of Slytherin’s past. Did last week’s episode of “Harry Potter” leave you hungry for more spells and Quidditch matches? Hold on to your seats faithful Hogwartians! Harry’s latest adventure has enough snakes, mandrakes, phoenix tears, Cornish pixies, climaxes, denouements, and unexplained camera tilts to scare the J.R.R. Tolkien out of you. Make no mistake, though—this is a quintessential J.K. Rowling toy factory. Kippers for breakfast, Aunt Helga? Is it St. Swithen’s Day already? Not since Goblin Pubby viciously scared the Schnappsburgher Spitzligs have you seen an adventure this raucous. Not only will you get to see Harry and Ron breaking the speed limit aboard a flying car (watch out for that Whomping Willow!) but you’ll also get to see young Harry duke it out with the evil young Draco in a death-defying battle-in-the-sky that will put crazy ol’ George Lucas to shame! Children: Do Not Try This At Home! Step aside Jar-Jar Binks, here comes little Dobby! And is that Gilderoy Lockhart I see? Well, that fey accent won’t do you any good where you’re going, you dirty dirty teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts! How will Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall negotiate the racial free-for-all between the pure-bloods and the muggle-borns while trying to cover up Mr. Columbus’s gratuitous cutaways to black faces? More importantly, will Harry Potter grow the Quidditch balls to play Y Tu Jism Tambien inside the Hogwarts swimming pool with that Mexican man hiding behind those bushes? All this and more in this action-packed episode we like to call Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Same Hogwart time, same Hogwart channel. Back in St. Olaf during the annual cheese fair, Gertrude Ginkelhaughen, the town’s biggest pusher for imported cheese, used to say: “If you don’t want to miss a minute of this stuffy three-hour redundancy, bring a urine bucket!”

by Ed Gonzalez (11 November 2002)

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