Potter and the
The second coming of many, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has the feel of insignificance running through its overlengthy running time. When Harry eventually faces the showdown in the chamber of secrets, it is a sequence almost devoid of suspense. Rowling/Kloves' constant looting from the vaults of literature and narrative techniques makes the plot unfresh and often predictable, and leaves the film relying on excessive use of cgi effects and inventions. This is sometimes effective, but more often than not, it just becomes fussy show-off action - as with the annoying, mandatory cgi-character Dobby (who never becomes as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks, but still). The Chamber of Secrets has its strength in the interaction between the kids, and the constant warmth endorsing it. The world of Hogwarts is a pleasant venue, and when interesting characters are visiting, the film is vivacious. One of these is Gilderoy Lockhart in the presence of Kenneth Branagh (who easily steals every scene he's in). Unfortunately, this second film isn't as neat or free of caricatures as its predecessor. And of course, it lacks the quality of being something new and fresh. Something it desperately would have needed.