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HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHERS STONE   Print  E-mail 
Written by Graham Reed  
Monday, 05 July 2004
Flying in on a wave of hype and a Nimbus 2000....


Much like The Phantom Menace, this film is so hyped  that it can in no way live up - after all, there's been over 100 Million Potter books sold. So, in order not to disappoint, the film better be pretty good. Unfortunately, its not that great.

Telling the story of Harry Potter, 11 year old wizard in training and his first year at Hogwarts, School for Wizards, this film owes much more to The Phantom Menace than it probably cares to admit.

For a start, for what is ostensibly a kids movie, its long at over 2hrs; it features a child actor in the central role, a cast of venerable actors in guest roles, extensive CGI, based on an existing franchise, waves of hype, dodgy FX, a thrilling highlight aerial chase/race sequence halfway though that eclipses a lame ending (that rips off Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark simultaneously),.

Much like Phantom Menace, it works well as a set up for sequels in an ongoing franchise, but taken alone, it's a confusing film with much depth that is lost on anyone who doesn't know what's going on.  Its got some rousing scenes, and the stellar cast is squandered; Alan Rickman in particular steals the show. As an event, it's a must-see movie, but for anyone over the age of 12, think twice if you're not a fan. Disappointing, and for fans only. But what else did you expect
from the director of "Young Sherlock Holmes"?

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