Sup fools. Now I’m not a huge Harry Potter fanatic and I haven’t read a single page of the book. I have, however, seen all of the movies within a 9 day period thanks to the wonders of DVD and the recent release of the latest in the series Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Now, I have to, somewhat embarrassedly, admit that I enjoy the Harry Potter films and find myself being brought in more and more with each experience and OotP was no different. There has been some negativity circling this film from critics, though I find it unfounded. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It might be the best in the series, but that is, obviously, debatable. Now, I think what brings this movie to the forefront is the increasing maturity of both the story and the actors. The first films are fun and fanciful and magical, while they slow, with Harry’s age, get deeper and darker. Count me in.
In this installation of the series we find an increasingly frustrated Harry Potter put to the irons by the Ministry of Magic, with Deputy Minister Dolores Umbridge, brought delightfully and deviously to life by Imelda Staunton. Her appearances will have you sneering at her authoritarian dictatorship over the school, underhanded and ancient tactics, and her collection of kitty plates that meow and prance about. Seriously.
Without giving too much away to you purists, the Ministry, spearheaded by Umbridge, are out to get both Mr. Potter and Albus Dumbledore, again played excellently by Michael Gambon. The kiddies might not sit still forever, for while this is the shortest film of the bunch, it offers up less action and somewhat more exposition, but that did not hamper the enjoyment of either myself or the screaming, hissing, cheering sold out crowd in the theater. We meet new character Luna Lovegood, a bit of a loon, new creatures, the awesomely designed Thestrals (think dead flying horses), and finally get to see some real Death Eater action. The final battle is pretty awesome, though much too short. This movie especially called out to Star Wars and said “I am your successor, hand me the crown.” Many similarities can be drawn, and in this one, visually, we see how grand a battle could be. This battle is awesome, but we should get some “more awesomer” ones in the future, please. Brooms = Speeder Bikes. Wands = Blasters + Lightsabers. Magic = The Force. If the series ends without a massive battle, I IMPLORE JK Rowling to keep writing so that we get a grand battle that combines mounted rides, animals, giants, spells, broom sticks, and anything else thrown into the pot. Let me tell you, I’m at half-staff at the thought of it.
David Yates proves himself to be well equipped to handle this movie, the writing is where it needs to be, the film looks great and the special effects are with one exception fantastic. Grawp, the giant, looks like 2 steps back for CGI. Oh well. I recommend this film to everyone, though if you’re not in on the universe you might not follow perfectly.
Oh, also, we get Helena Bonham Carter, though she’s barely in it. That is the main problem with the film. It’s length restricted we loose a lot of quality time with the characters. Draco Malfoy? Barely shows his face. Sirius Black? He’s got maybe 12 (all awesome) minutes on screen, despite being the best part of the movie. Severus Snape finally gets a touch of room to move and show himself, but he needed more time. Alister Moody, Tonks, and Lupin. We need more of all of these people. I don’t care if the movie is 3 hours or 4 hours long next time. We need more of these interesting characters.
It’s worth mentioning that Neville Longbottom is growing nicely as a character and Ginny Weasley came out of nowhere to me and established herself as cool. Previously she’s just been a face standing there, but in this installment she rocks in her limited screen time.
Blah blah, Rupert and Emma and Daniel grow as actors to and do a good job, better ever time and Ron finally gets a few more good lines. All in all, I must not tell lies – I enjoyed this film.