Take 2 of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is bigger, better, and longer than before; it is also darker, and more complex. So that all ye hordes of Potterites will not be disappointed, director Chris Columbus has once again adhered faithfully to the book, fitting in as much detail as possible in its 162-minute duration.
There’s the original, unfettered cast of characters: Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), and his posse – redheaded Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), brainy Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Hagrid the kindly gamekeeper (Robbie Coltrane), greedy Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths), mysterious Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), wise Headmaster Dumbledore (the late Richard Harris), and loyal Professor McGonagall ( Maggie Smith). The newest add-ons to the Potter pod include the ostentatious narcissist Gilderoy Lockhart – Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor (Kenneth Branagh), the wicked father of bully Draco, Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), the warm-hearted Mrs. Molly Weasley (Julie Walters), and the CGI-spawned Dobby, the oppressed House Elf, who manages to both charm and annoy Harry with his well-intentioned mischief.
The dense plot involves a hidden room in the Hogwarts dungeons where a monster lurks, attacking and literally petrifying some of the school’s inhabitants. Harry and his friends endeavour to open this chamber of secrets with the help of a mysterious diary.
Aside from its stellar cast and scarier narrative, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets succeeds in upholding the magic of JK Rowling’s vast imagination, while providing its fan base with popular set pieces they (by now) expect: exciting car chases, the action-packed Quidditch match, magical gadgets, and enough mind-boggling visual effects and animatronics to satisfy both the pre-MTV demographic, and their parents.
-Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 2: Characters