Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire (Daniel Radcliffe, Emily Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes) 2005

Posted: October 25, 2012 in Drama
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Harry Potter is back (Radcliffe) for year four at Hogwarts.  There is a contest this year at Hogwarts, the tri wizard tournament, but it is closed to entrants below 17 and young Harry is only 14.  The only way he can enter the contest is if someone throws his name into the Goblet of Fire.  There’s already international representation in the tournament from Victor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski)  Fleur  Delacour  (Clemence Poesy) and Howarts is already  represented by Cedric Diggory. (Robert Patton) so imagine everyone’s surprise when Harry’s name comes flying out of the goblet.

Immediately, Ron (Grint) is jealous of Harry and Hermione (Watson) is worried that something might happen to Harry.  The first task Harry has is to fight a dragon, he is helped to figure out this task by Mad Eye Moody (Brendon Gleeson) and Hagrid (Robbie Coltraine) .  If he survives,  Harry then has to rescue his friends from the bottom of a lake, he is helped here by Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson) Neville Longbottom (Matt Lewis) who gives him gillyweed to help Harry survive underwater Finally Harry makes his way through a maze to find the tri-wizard trophy.  All along his quest Harry is plagued by nightmares where he sees Voldemort (Fiennes) Is Lord Voldemort making his way back to the land of the living to terrorize Hogwarts?

I liked this movie, but the plot didn’t really kick in until the last half hour, which left a lot of time for teenage angst and junior high school dating trauma.  I really didn’t care if Harry asked Cho Chang to the ball or not, I really didn’t care if Hermione and Ron Weasley hooked up.  Ron Weasly has turned into a boorish jerk in these movies, and Grint is no Carey Grant in the looks or acting department.  So Grint doesn’t have the  skills to make his character subtle, so he comes off with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.  Let’s be clear, these kids were chosen because they were cute as kids, that doesn’t mean they are good looking adults or good actors for that matter.  Grint, Radcliffe and Watson confuse angst for anger at times, and the large parts of the  tone of the movie takes on that of a soap opera.  What’s more disconcerting is that the female characters are weak and weepy and serve only as decoration for the male characters.  Why can’t Hermione be part of the tri wizard tournament?  Fleur Delacour who is in the tri wizard tournament doesn’t even finish the lake mission, and is scared silly in the maze.  Where is the character development for Cho and the Patil sisters?  They are just treated like playthings for Hurry’s amusement.  I would hope they are better written characters in the books, or else it reflects really badly on JK Rowling and her views on women. The cynical part of me says the adding of Asian characters in the later books were a way to market the books better overseas, I don’t know that for a fact, having never read the books, but I suspect it.

Fortunately for the movie, the conflict between Voldemort and Harry builds nicely and is very engaging, including the battle between Harry and the revived Voldemort.  That last half hour really saves this movie.  Good acting by the adults, Fiennes, Gleeson, Coltraine, and Michael Gambon make this movie entertaining to watch.  I think I was harsher on this movie the second time around because I have a much more critical eye about movies in general now than four or five years ago. Despite its interminable length, lack of character development and slow pacing, I still enjoyed the film.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Drink it in.

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