Quick-Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Screened at Cinépolis • ??? Viewing

Yep, my favorite movie as a child until The Dark Knight rolled around, a motion picture that takes initiation to a franchise that I’d go as far as to say is at least the greatest “blockbuster” series ever crafted — and no, I will not count those deadbeat CGI Creatures Galore, Boneless Characters and Where to Something Them movies or whatever the devil they’re called. Imagine: eight movies and not a single dud found during the span of ten years. Wait, scratch that, you don’t need to imagine such a miracle when Warner Bros.’ magical adaptations of J.K. Rowlings’ wizarding world are at the very tips of your HBO Max acc… wait, it looks as if they’ve been removed. Call it off, Hedwig, we’re going to the cinemas. 

It’s time to get real geeky readers, cause you’re about to see me in a form that you thought couldn’t get any more embarrassing after I reviewed every straight-to-DVD Bionicle movie as a grown ass adult. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sets up a universe of lore and a lineup of significant characters while managing to still be a funny, light-hearted journey that has the talent to become grim when it needs to based on the movie’s constant insinuations. This framework, furthermore, allows Year 1 of the saga to not become completely bombarded by world-building, eldritch class sessions or mythical creatures, and makes sure to balance these ingredients out with an actual staple narrative to keep viewers on target. Sure, Harry Potter as an individual arguably starts off as a bit of a Gary Stu — there are indeed fans out here acting like slapping on the “chosen one” label automatically excuses a character from sucking (shoutout to the incel, Phantom Menace cult) — but the character’s tragic background is suitably dilated to a point where the audience has enough room to latch on sentimentally to his presence throughout the runtime. 

Of course, it’s undeniable that the nearly twenty-year-old movie hasn’t aged perfectly in a couple of regions. A lot of the performances, notably from the children, are borderline rubbish — luckily we have Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane to counteract the overall quality of acting here. The special effects are, I suppose, tolerable enough if you can look past the frequently god-awful green-screen or heavily reliant CGI spectacles. The whole Severus Snape vs. Quirinus Quirrell gimmick is pretty outdated in knack. And yeah, the plot as well as the occasionally cutesy drama kind of just decides to arbitrarily work in its favor whenever it feels like it. But, hey! At least John Williams’ brilliant score hasn’t aged a day! 

So all-in-all, even after seeing this movie a kajillion times, it’s still quite decent, especially on the big-screen. At the end of this revisit, however, one thing is indeed for certain: the wizarding world doesn’t have health inspectors — the psychotic amount of examples I can give of this in just the first movie is appalling.

Verdict: B-

Harry Potter Ranked 

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is now playing in select theaters.

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