Finally got to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire this weekend (which took in almost $55 million more), so here is a mini-review – I don’t like to give a full review as I like to watch the first time for enjoyment, and the second time as a critic. Read More for my impressions. Feel free to add your own.
This is, from my perspective, the best installment in the franchise yet. The adaptation of the story – from the huge printed volume to a 157-minute movie – worked wonderfully. All the major plot points were hit, and very little that I can remember of the book was left out (most notably is the house-elf subplot). The movie starts off with Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys travelling to the Quidditch World Cup, and while we don’t get to see any actual Quidditch game action, we did get a sense of the excitement and the aftermath.
Acting I think has been improved in this, especially among the kids. They have a greater challenge here, dealing with teenage angst and rivalry for attention. There wer some weak points still, but I think they did reasonably well. Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody was great (and ironically I saw him later that day in Braveheart), and watch for David Tennant – the new Doctor Who – as one of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s henchmen – I don’t want to use his name as its is a spoiler.
And, trying not to spoil the scene, but when Harry returns from the third task is by far the most emotional moment shown in the entire series of movies.
Visuals-wise, for some reason this film had the same somewhat-grainy appearance as Azkaban. Is this a new preferred style or something? Otherwise the visuals were spectacular, and they kept the sets from the last movie, whereas there was significant change to them after Chamber of Secrets. Although it seems Snape’s Potions class has moved out of the dungeon.
The movie is appropriately rated. My 5-year-old, who has seen the previous films, probably could not take the second half of this movie. I do not recommend this for young children, yet parents still take them to the movie, and invariable disturb other patrons.
It will remain to be seen if they can keep up the emotional intensity in the next installment.