Broom for improvement

Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Our Rating: 3.00

This spookier second installment in the cash-cow kid-friendly franchise about a young wizard in training won't win any new converts; it's another competent corporate creation that stays loyal to author J.K. Rowling's source material in plot and atmosphere while softening her subversive edges. "Chamber of Secrets" justifies its 161-minute running time by successfully conjuring a transporting sense of place and injecting stronger themes of darkness and corruption into Harry's previously whimsical existence, but the film flags in the last half-hour when the big-budget CGI action climax turns repetitive and boring and the feel-good ending shamelessly begs for applause. Once again, the young cast is barely as good as it needs to be--there's not a single convincing screamer in the lot, and Daniel Radcliffe is a bland leading boy--but the already strong adult cast is well-supplemented by a scenery-chewing Kenneth Branagh and a silvery, malevolent Jason Isaacs, who makes the best villain in the series so far. Generically directed by Chris Columbus ("Home Alone") and written by a slumming Steve Kloves ("Wonder Boys").


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.