Sunday, July 26, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Assed Plot

Saturday night Misseswether and I dropped the Wethergirls off with a neighbor and headed out to see the new harry Potter movie. Misseswether is a huge fan of the books to the point of being at the local bookstore for the midnight releases of several of them. I eventually read them just to keep up with her and the others. I enjoyed them but waiting over half a year to read the last one. Same goes with the movies. The first two I thought were pretty lousy, though a big part of that was the director's fault. I'll admit the actors did a very good job with what they had to work with and for.

The third fourth movies were better, more character-driven than just sight-gags. They where worth seeing in theater, especially as the background visuals matured along with the story. The Potter-verse took on a wondrous eye-appeal, especially to a Ren-geek like me. The most recent one is just as stunning, the actors & actresses are wonderful, and the emotional responses are very believably raw and tuned to perfection.

But there's a fatal flaw with the series, and not just the films. The books themselves suffer from the same problem...magic.

Okay, you are probably wondering why I'm complaining about magic in a fictional story of wizards, witches, and multi-legged beasties. It's not the magic itself that's the problem. The problem is the magic is both unlimited in power and never used to it's full potential!


For instance, in this most recent movie (The Half-Blood Prince) Harry wins a luck potion. According to the potionmaster, upon drinking the elixir the imbiber will have great luck, enabling them to accomplish whatever goal they are currently working on. Harry uses the potion to obtain from someone a hidden memory needed to eventually defeat Voldermort.

What the hell? Why not just set your goal as stopping/killing Voldermort, drink the potion, and have at it? Ten pages later and the story ends. Better yet, do this right off the eye-of-bat (ha ha ha) and turn seven books into a short story about never messing with wizards. Of course, if Voldermort was such a super wizard why didn't he whip up a batch of the liquid luck to aid him in his plans against Harry?

Of course, that just one example. The worst in my opinion is the Time-Turner. Once you give anyone the ability to travel back in time you've given them the ability to rule the Present. Worse, if multiple people have that power the "Present" will suddenly dissolve into an ever-changing soup of conflicting time-goo. True, the Time-Turners could be said to be limited in that you have to manually "wind" it with each turn moving you one hour in the past. Sure, it'd take a while to wind it back say twenty years or so, but I'm sure anyone here would be willing to spend a few days winding to travel back in time with notes on big stock winners or sports scores. Voldermort had more reasons than just $$$ to travel back in time, yet he doesn't do it.

Yes, I'm a hard guy to please. Plot holes always nag me and detract from the story. I pretty much have stopped reading fiction for similar reasons. Luckily there some pretty good real tales of adventure out there to keep my entertained.

Adventure! Excitement! Pickiness!


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean MW, Science Fiction/Magic is rarely logical.

As for luck though I heard a story once.

A chap prayed *really* hard for many years to win the lottery but never did.

When he got to Heaven he complained to God that he had prayed so hard and yet he never won.

God replied, "Well, you could have given me a chance and at least bought a ticket!"

Izzy G. said...

I am proud to say that I have never once read any of the Harry Potter books nor seen any of the movies.

Bramble said...

Appreciate the Spoiler Alert!!! I was OK with the books, but the movies did the best they could which, in the end, NEVER eclipses my no need to se the Half-Assed less thing in a world full of things to do!