Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Warner Brothers

Mark Haddon

Order of the Phoenix is entertaining enough, but it feels like a stopgap, a stepping stone to later, greater thrills. It takes an awfully long time to get going, but fans will be rewarded with an action-packed final third full of duelling wizards, portentous prophecies and Helena Bonham Carter giving plenty of loony as Bellatrix Lestrange.

Paul Arendt, BBC Film Reviews



Yet again I managed to forget about the release of the newest Harry Potter film installment.  However, that didn't stop me from being a little excited on the way to the cinema to see it last night.  Thinking back to the fifth HP book, I was a little disappointed but this gave me some faith that film may be fairly decent; it is often easier to make a good film from a rubbish book because there are no expectation to meet.

For starters, the film is only 138 minutes long, which is shorter even than 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'.  In fact, I would venture to say that the director could have got away with another 15/20 minutes of film time without making the film too long.  It would have certainly allowed the opportunity to expand on a few select areas which I think were left under-explained.  Despite this, there is not too much confusion whilst watching this film and the plot flows very quickly without stopping to allow you to take stock, let alone get bored or nod-off.

It is clear from the very start of the film that the lead actors have grown-up alot since the start of the Harry Potter film series, and even since the last film released in December 2005.  Their acting techniques have most definitely improved with age and I can't think of any moments during this film where I thought their acting was 'wooden'.  The special effects were also superb, especially the interpretation of the Ministry of Magic which was stunning.

The script in 'The Order of the Phoenix' was well written and there were plenty of witty lines which were also well delivered by the cast.  The character of Loona Lovegrove was well protrayed by Evanna Lynch.  In the book I found it very hard to imagine the character of Loona. Despite this, in the film Loona was exactly how I felt she should be. Imelda Staunton was a perfect Dolores Umbridge, the Ministry employee sent to keep Hogwarts in check whom ultimately turns the school into a prison.

There is no point in me even trying to detail the plot of this film.  If you haven't read the book then I would just advise going to see it.  There was one area I was slightly disappointed with which was the scene with Sirius and the archway in the Ministry.  This was something which completely passed me by in the book despite being a fairly major part of the story.  I had hoped that the film would make a bigger deal of this scene, but it passed by just a fleetingly as in the novel.  The scenes with Dumbledore's army are really well done though and my favourite scenes are those at the end of the film.  Ralph Fiennes returns as the evil Lord Voldemort and is even scarier than at the end of 'The Goblet of Fire'.  He embodies the character so well there are moments when you can almost imagine the character is real!

If you like Harry Potter, go and see this film.  You won't be disappointed!



Reviewed on 16/07/2007 by Angela


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