HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
The books suffer from lazy plotting. J.K. Rowling tries to have her cake and eat it too. We are told at the outset that Harry Potter is a great magician yet the books also have him totally ignorant of magic so that Rowling can explain the world of magic to us through him. Yet for all that Harry Potter is supposed to be a great magician, his greatness never seems to emerge through any trials he undergoes. Like the introduction of his ability to speak Parseltongue here, his abilities are not earned they are innate and come merely from J.K. Rowling pulling them out of a hat when her plot needs them. For all that she is a peripheral character, the perpetual swot Hermione Granger is more entitled to the role of the hero(ine) of the books than Harry is she is the only one who works for what she has.
J.K. Rowlings simplistic writing suits film treatment far better than the printed page actors fill the roles with much more depth and subtlety than she gives them, while the brevity of film trims the points she makes with persistent overemphasis. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, although very faithful to the book, suffered from production overkill and director Chris Columbuss banally emotive cues. The good news is that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a better film than Sorcerers Stone was. Chris Columbus has his tendency toward overkill under control. It is still there the quidditch game turns into something that improbably resembles a high speed computer game scenario and the flight of the Ford Anglia has been upped from the book into a sequence that now involves the flying car being pursued by Hogwarts Express with Harry hanging out the door. The sets are also overdesigned an abandoned girls bathroom has a set of handbasins that ludicrously resemble a giant Roman marble column. Mostly though, Chris Columbus concentrates on character humour and mood and atmosphere the look of Chamber of Secrets is much darker than in Sorcerers Stone. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is not a masterpiece, but on the other hand it is not entirely a bland run through either.
The only complaints that one has with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets are all J.K. Rowlings. Rowlings plotting is sloppy and contrived Dobby the elf has no real place in the story. He provides a warning and goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent Harry from falling into danger but there is no plot against Harry of any type and it is only considerably after he receives the warning that Harry personally becomes proactively involved in the mystery. One cannot see, unless the elf is precognitive, why it should go out of its way to provide such warnings to someone who is as much at threat as anyone else at the school. Similarly, the Anglia turns up to affect a rescue from the spiders but other than authorial convenience, there is no real reason why it should do so. And, while J.K. Rowling makes out that the Heir of Slytherin wanting to kill all non-pureblooded magicians is something akin to ethnic cleansing, she never explains why such prejudice exists and what motivation/advantage someone would have in wanting to do that.
Mostly, the problem is the character of Harry Potter. He does incredibly little that is actually heroic. All the information he gleans throughout is served up to him by somebody else McGonagall, Dumbledore, Dobby, Moaning Myrtle, Hermione, the diary. All the situations he gets into have their solutions provided by other people it is Ron who provides his escape from the Dursleys, Dumbledore who provides the means to kill the basilisk, the Anglia that provides the escape from the spiders. Harry Potter is a perpetual non-hero one whose status is only something conveyed by the author and whose path to triumphing over adversity is almost a Zen-like one of following the path of least resistance and letting everything happen around him. He is fatally wounded for his actions but the solution the tears of the phoenix have been arbitrarily provided and so easily foreshadowed that it is a non-peril. In fact, the only feat that Harry does on his own is to free Dobby and all that requires him to do is give away a sock.
The subsequent Harry Potter films are:- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011). Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) was a further spinoff from the Harry Potter series.