Sunday, December 04, 2005

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The latest adventures of Harry Potter have hit our screens in a longer, darker plot that doesn't quite hit the mark. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry finds himself as an underaged competitor in the dangerous Triwizard Tournament where the participants are required to risk life and limb to become the champion. But things get complicated because you-know-who is back! Goblet of Fire is entertaining and the magic effects are stunning and seamless. Harry and his friends are older and they have to deal with the normal issues that confront teenagers - self identity, hormones, and conflict. But, for me, the movie ultimately lacked adequate substance. There are hints of important issues being dealt with, but there seems to be an over-emphasis on wowing us with special effects than any deep exploration of the characters internal struggles. The most significant line in the movie is Dumbledore's warning that the time is coming when choices will need to be made between what is right and what is easy. The teenagers are maturing as actors and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and the rest of the team put in fine performances consistent with there development. Harry's confrontation with Voldemort is a highlight of the movie and, of the three challenges, the most moving is the one involving the Black Lake. There is no doubt that, in Goblet of Fire, we see the most sophisticated production yet and morality becomes more complex than in previous episodes. I was hoping, though, that the highest classification for any movie in the series might have been for the thematic content rather than for the scariness of the effects. A warning: this is most definitely not a kids movie. The higher classification is well deserved. My Rating: ***1/2 (out of 5) Positive Review 'The best one yet.' - Kirk Honeycutt/The Hollywood Reporter Negative Review 'Terrific effects and considerable charm, but, once again, you can't help wishing the filmmakers had been bolder with the adaptation.' - Empire/Angie Errigo Content Warning Sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images

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