Harry P steps out again in The Chamber Of Secrets, the second of the seven-part JK Rowling series. I guessed from the lack of hype surrounding the premiere that not as much energy or expectation has been invested in this episode of the saga. After all, many consider The Chamber Of Secrets to be the weakest book in the series.

The film looks good and the special effects are more than adequate. What is missing is a quality story with enough suspense to sustain you for the 160 minutes of the film. Frankly, Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, just doesn’t have the charisma to carry it off and you quickly grow bored with his sidekick Ron Weasley being the fall guy of the jokes all the time. Even Maggie Smith looks bored.

Chamber Of Secrets is competent and solid and will be immensely popular with the sub-16-year-old fans of Harry Potter. All the old characters are back and Miriam Margolyes is a welcome addition, as is Shirley Henderson (from Wonderland) who plays Moaning Myrtle. Kenneth Branagh plays a very panto, camp Gilderoy Lockhart.

There’s nothing that wrong with Harry P’s latest outing other than it is at least 45 minutes too long and more than a little boring. It will be interesting to see what Mexican Alfonso Cuar?oes with the third Harry P instalment, due in 2004.

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