Harry Potter: Peter Mountain
Jeff Jensen
May 31, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” may be the least of the first four books in J.K. Rowling’s ongoing saga. Lacking the new-world wonder of the first (”The Sorcerer’s Stone”), the dark twists of the third (”The Prisoner of Azkaban”), and the epic grandeur of the fourth (”The Goblet of Fire”), the second ”Potter” novel is, alas, just a jolly good yarn. Which is exactly why Chris Columbus finds it so magical. ”The first one was about introduction and discovery,” says the director, whose film version of ”Sorcerer’s Stone” has grossed $966 million at box offices worldwide. ”This time, we jump right into the story. ‘Chamber of Secrets’ has a lot more humor and 10 times as much action.”

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