User Rating: Excellent
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Excellent acting, some exciting moments, lots of time with familiar characters
Cons:Bland villain, middle installment syndrome
The Bottom Line: Harry Potter fans should enjoy this film.
Its Harry Potter time again! After eagerly awaiting the fifth movie in this highly popular series, I found myself simply too exhausted from studying to even stay awake for last nights midnight showing, to which I already had tickets. Darn it! As a result, hubby and I tried again with tonights 8:00 show. To preface, I love Harry Potter movies. I like ALL the movies, I like it that they are getting progressively darker, I could care less about whether the movies closely follow the books, and I have never found Daniel Radcliffes acting to be particularly bad. Onward!
Recommend this product?
If youre just joining us at this point in the series, its probably more than I can do to catch you up, but heres the Cliffs Notes version. The Order of the Phoenix is the fifth movie in the series, and picks up where the Goblet of Fire left off. A new year at school brings increasingly sinister adventures for Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Hermoine (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint). The film introduces yet another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, the anal-retentive Professor Delores Umbridge, who is determined to bring Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into line with the Ministry of Magics agenda. Much of the plot centers around Harrys realization that the adults around him cant protect him from the evil Voldemort nor the eerie dreams that plague him.
I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The franchises fourth film was one of my favorites, and therefore a tough act to follow. Order of the Phoenix does a respectable job at continuing to move the series story line forward to its impending climax while still providing a good dose of entertainment. This film does suffer a bit from being a middle film, as its plot points are simply not as fresh or exciting as those of some of the other movies in the series. It also lacks a central Tri-Wizard Tournament-type device to tie things together. Still, I firmly believe that every single one of the Harry Potter films is better than most movies out there in terms of story and acting, and Order of the Phoenix is no exception. The main three not-so-child-anymore stars have improved markedly throughout the series. Radcliffe in particular turns in a pretty decent performance here, complete with some emotional depth.
This film is largely about Harrys relationships with his friends. At this point in the series, the filmmakers seem to have made the wise decision not to bog things down by the introduction of too many new characters. We do see two new faces get some significant screen time. The first, Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood, proves to be a welcome addition. Lynch manages to present a version of Luna who is completely spacey yet somehow still one of the most genuine and likeable characters in the movie. The second, Imelda Staunton as Delores Umbridge, brings me to one of my complaints. As this installments primary villain, this character disappointed me due to a complete and total lack of complexity. It becomes crystal clear from fifteen minutes into the film that Umbridge is a certain type of bad, and the character never moves from that single note during the films entire length. In a book and film series that tends to keep me guessing as to whether each character is good or bad, Umbridge sticks out as being too much of a caricature to be particularly intriguing.
I enjoyed watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. While I didnt walk away from the film feeling quite as enthusiastic as I did after some of the other movies in a series, I also didnt walk away feeling like the movie was a dud. Given the fact that five is definitely my least favorite book in the series, I would actually probably classify myself as pleasantly surprised with the way the movie adaptation turned out. Order of the Phoenix did its job in terms of lining things up for the sixth film while keeping my enthusiasm high about the series in general. And, really, how much more can you ask for from number five of seven?
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