The world's most famous boy wizard dives straight into a darker and more thrilling magical adventure in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
. It's practically the same set-up--something evil's afoot at Hogwarts; Harry and his pals must put it right--but fans of the books won't be disappointed. Director Chris Columbus, whose artistic licence is necessarily limited by the demands of adapting JK Rowling's phenomenally popular novel, does a spectacular job rendering Rowling's imaginary world: the production design and costumes are fascinating in their own right; such is the impressive attention to detail.
Daniel Radcliffe gives a more assured performance here as Harry, though he's not quite strong enough to carry the film without the aid of an excellent ensemble cast of experienced adults, notably a twinkly-eyed Kenneth Branagh. Of course, most avid fans will already know what's going to happen as far as the story is concerned, so for them the pleasure in watching The Chamber of Secrets
lies in the visualisation of Rowling's magical creations and the verve brought to the action sequences. It's fantastic fun for kids and there's plenty of childhood nostalgia for the rest of us. --Laura Bushell
Harry returns for his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry along with his best friends Hermione and Ron. He ignores warnings not to go back to Hogwarts by a mysterious house elf named Dobby. Soon into the school year strange things start happening...