I went to see the 4th installment of the Happy Potter movies last Saturday. For some reason, my friend had to see it as soon as it hit the theatres. Expecting more action sequences than ever before, I thought this movie was bound to be entertaining.
We were both happy that the movie did not start at the Dursleys’s. It started with Harry’s nightware of Lord Voldemort planning to kill "someone." He woke up at the Burrows, and Hermione was there to wake him and Ron up to go to the Quiddith World Cup Final. Then the movie took a turn to a darker tone once the Death Eators showed up in a riot and the Dark Mark appeared in the sky, and it never looked back.
Very soon we saw our main trio back at Hogwarts, where the headmaster Professor Dumbledore announced the exciting event of the Triwizard Tournament. We then learned about the two other major magic schools and their representatives, whose choreographed entrance appeared funny to me. The three tasks in the tournament made up the rest of the movie, but our hero had to deal with another mission that may be even more challenging than the life-threatening tasks — finding a date for the Yule Ball.
Yup, it certainly had a feel of a teen movie, but I was not surprised. After all, the Harry Potter series is about a passage of life, about growing up. What’s hinted in the previous sequal was now a major theme in the movie (Puppy love, awwww…). For those who can care less about Harry’s love life, the tournament would be satisfying enough to watch. Everything had a sense of real danger. And the mystery behind certain characters, an element that made the books so captivating, created questions lurking in our minds. However, they were quickly forgotten as the movie moved along and the action kicked in again.
I had to agree that the director (Mike Newell, Four Weddings and a Funeral) did a good job of working with a lot of materials and keeping it in an acceptable time frame. But I still would like to see that Quiddith World Cup Final! OK, I know it doesn’t hurt the storyline, but it would have been a great way to start an exciting movie. Oh well…
The special effects were top-notch, which was essential in this kind of films. The acting has been criticized by many movie critics, but I thought they did at least an adequate job to feel involved…in most cases. Cho was surprisingly pretty, even though she only had a handful minutes of screen time. As usual, Ron and Neville provided the laughs. But this time, even the professors joined in. You would be amazed to see Snape as a comic relief (Well, sort of). And Hagrid with a love interest was funny and yet a little disturbing.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is definitely the darkest Harry Potter movie to date. It’s simply an entertaining movie that serves its purpose. Personally, I prefer the editing style of the Prisoner of Azkaban, but I can imagine adapting a 37-chapter book into a two-and-a-half-hour movie can be a very hard thing to accomplish. And once again, the director did a good job with it. As the first British director at the helm of a British contemporary classic story, some may say he gave the movie a British touch that’s unique as in the books. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll enjoy this movie, unless you’re one of the purists, of course. Then you probably have stopped following this franchise since the last sequal. Or maybe you’re complaining about everything that doesn’t follow the books exactly while seeing it, giving in to the irresistable charm of Harry Potter.
NOTE: ALL PHOTOS © WARNER BROS. PICTURES