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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry continue.

Directed by:

Chris Columbus

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 154 minutes

UK Certificate: pg

On DVD

Country: United States

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts for his next year of studies in wizardry, but even before he leaves home it is clear that this year will be as eventful as the last. First, he finds a house elf called Dobby bouncing on his bed, who wants to prevent him returning to school because he will be at great risk. Then he fails to catch the train to Hogwarts because the barrier to the platform mysteriously refuses to let him through, so he and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) 'borrow' the Weasley family's magical flying car to get to school – a trip that is more than a little eventful.

Even on arrival, things are far from normal. The school caretaker's cat is found to be petrified, with a mysterious message written on the wall nearby referring to a Chamber of Secrets. Then it is the students who begin to turn up in a petrified state. Harry and his friends must solve the mystery to protect the other students and prevent Hogwarts being taken from the control of popular headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris).

This is a fine family adventure, with plenty of visuals to enjoy plus an accomplished cast making the most of their great fantasy roles. The three leads do a good job as the young wizards in training, and the Hogwarts staff are as appealing as ever. Hogwarts life remains the ultimate in schooldays wish-fulfilment, with its fast and dangerous Quiddich games and fascinating classes. The magical world having been introduced in the first film, this one is able to embark on the action from the first without wasting much time on background information.

It's Got: Plenty of fantastical characters.

It Needs: More of the underused character of Professor Snape (Alan Rickman).

DVD Extras This two-disk DVD release offers a substantial package of extras on a disk of their own. Extras: 19 additional/extended scenes, Tours – Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore’s office and Diagon Alley, Interviews with the cast, Conversation with author JK Rowling and screenwriter Steve Kloves, Escape the Forbidden Forest, sneak into the Camber, visit Lockhart’s class and more. DVD-ROM Extras: Magically voice-control your computer, Hogwarts animated timeline, Puzzles, Screensavers, Games and more. DVD Extras Rating: 9/10

Alternatives:

Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Summary

A rollicking family adventure that will please parents as much as children, although the 'slug vomiting’ scenes may be a bit much for the younger or more sensitive ones.

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