We still made it to the Leicester Square Odeon in good time and took our seats next to a girl in a perfect Slytherin costume. I was a little over-excited and committed the major faux pas of complimenting her on her Quidditch robes when any fool could see they were in fact ordinary school uniform robes. Duh! (I hope nobody thought I was attempting to dress up as Harry; we were wearing similar jumpers and I need a haircut.)
The film has a catch-22 to it: if you haven't read the book you won't have the faintest clue what's going on, if you have you'll be annoyed at how much was cut. My major complaint is that Harry susses what's going on way too easily rather than agonising about it for terms and terms: Hey, here's a blank book I found in a toilet, let's see what happens if I write 'Hello' in it. Ooh lookie, a message from a schoolboy of fifty years ago appears. Thought it would.
Daniel Radcliffe is as cute as before, with added adolescent brooding. Rupert Grint played it a bit too much for laughs, perhaps carried away by his success in (ahem) Thunderpants, but I can't deny he has made the part of Ron his own. Not since My Fair Lady has anyone been quite so famous for saying the word 'bloody'.
Ickle Colin Creevey got a spontaneous 'aaah!' from the audience when he first appeared; if they ever cast a Molesworth movie that boy will be a shoo-in for fotherington-tomas. But my favourite pupil was Moaning Myrtle, the tragi-comic toilet-haunting schoolgirl ghost.
I should mention Alan Rickman, if only for my mum's sake. He doesn't get a lot to do but he does get to send Kenneth Branagh's Gilderoy Lockhart flying the length of a room with a blast from his wand, which is well worth seeing. Branagh's performance, much as I hate to praise the man, is very good; one would think Ken was playing himself. Hmm.
Special effects not bad: one superb basilisk, hundreds of terrifying spiders, one slightly clunky phoenix and one excellent but bloody irritating house elf. The flying car and the Polyjuice Potion were of course absolute gifts to the FX department, but I can't tell you how well they did Ron coughing up slugs because I covered my eyes for all those bits.
Finally, how wonderful to go to a children's movie with not a child in sight! I speak as one who spent The Lion King trying to block out the young person behind me saying "Is he the king now? Is he the king now? every two minutes. Adult-only screenings should be made compulsory for anything with a certificate under 15. I'd also like to go and see teen movies without having to sit next to actual teenagers, please.