I got to watch Order of the Phoenix a second time this weekend, this
time in IMAX with the entire climactic battle shown in 3D, which was done
very well and was totally cool. So here is a bit of a review (relatively
spoiler free) for the 5th movie installment of the series.
[Note: I’m currently recovering from a chest infection, so this may not be
as complete – or coherent – as I’d like]
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a large book. This,
however, was the shortest of the movies. It’s been quite a while since I
read the book (4 years!), so I don’t know precisely what was missing, but
there were a number of things that I thought could have been expanded
Notably is the Order itself. Tonks had the potential to be a fascinating
character, but had very little screen time and no explanation of her unique
ability. Kingsley Shacklebolt has a bit more screen time, although I don’t
know if his last name was every mentioned. And there were two others that
flew with Harry, who went nameless and are never seen again. I do think the
number of active characters from the book were probably too much for the
film, but I would rather they had dropped the Grawp storyline and kept
something else.. Fred and George Weasley do enjoy expended roles in this
Also, at various times you could almost sense that they are trying to hint
at possible romances for Harry with both Tonks (from the way she looks at
him, and stumbles in the hallway), and Luna Lovegood (who was played
perfectly by Evanna Lynch), through their common bond, neither of which were
part of the book.
What was the significance of the arch during the climactic scene? They don’t
explain it at all in the movie. You’ll need to check the book. Also lost is
why Voldemort wants what he is looking for.
However, despite all of this, this was a very good, beautifully filmed
movie. The beginning may have been the weakest part filming-wise, which
seems to be common with the last several. Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon)
appears to be getting larger…
The trio of main actors I also felt are continuing to improve, less awkward with their
characters than in past movies. Rupert Grint is definitely improved.
The climactic battle was excellent, especially in 3D! If you can catch in in
IMAX, please do so.
I did notice an inconsistency in this movie compared to Goblet of
Fire, for which I pulled out that book. In this movie (not really a
spoiler, unless you haven’t seen/read Goblet of Fire, in which case
why are you reading this?), Neville mentions
that Bellatrix LeStrange was the one that used the Cruciatus curse to
torture his parents. In the Goblet of Fire book, in the pensieve
court scene, 4 wizards/witches are accused, convicted and sentenced for the
crime – including a witch that speaks up as they are taken away by the
dementors, who I assume is Bellatrix but is not named. One of them also is Barty
Crouch’s son, but younger as portrayed in the movie – in which Karkaroff
names him specifically as the one who tortured Neville’s parents, done in a
way that implied it was him alone, although in the dialog it says he “took
part”. Barty Crouch Jr. was also played as a young man instead of a boy (by
none other than the current Doctor Who, David Tennant).
This installment is well worth the time – I just wish it was longer (I don’t
care about the mythical two-hour limit for a movie that is interesting).