Film Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Forget the first three films. This one is good.

Cast

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
Rupert Grint as Ronald Weasley
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger
Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory
Clémence Poésy as Fleur Delacour
Stanislev Ianevski as Viktor Krum
Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore
Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape
Brendan Gleeson as Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody
Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid
Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter
Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort
Katie Leung as Cho Chang
Roger Lloyd Pack as Bartemious Crouch
David Tennant as Bartemious Crouch Jr.
Timothy Spall as Peter ‘Wormtail’ Pettigrew
Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge
Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom
James Phelps as Fred Weasley
Oliver Phelps as George Weasley
Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley
Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley
Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy
Shirley Henderson as Moaning Myrtle

Directed by Mike Newell

Screenplay by Steve Kloves

Based on the novel by JK Rowling

Plot

After a group of Death Eaters terrorise the final of the Quidditch
World Cup, Harry finds himself entered into the deadly Triwizard
Tournament, for which he is ill-prepared.

High Point

The graveyard scene and what immediately follows it. This is the
high point of the book, and has been translated exceptionally well to
the screen.

Low Point

The whole ‘where are we going?’ ‘No idea!’ scene before finding the
Portkey near the start of the film was overdone and I was getting
sinking feelings at this point.

The Scores

Being an adaptation, the originality naturally suffers a
little. However, the film feels fresh throughout, and even when you
know what’s coming it still sometimes manages to take you by
surprise. Five out of six.

The effects were flawless. Absolutely flawless. Everything
was beautifully realised and seamlessly integrated into the live footage
to the point where I’m sure I missed some special effects shots simply
because they’re imitating realistic objects instead of spellwork or
dragons. Six out of six.

Because of the modifications made for the screenplay, I feel
confident scoring the story without relying too much on the
great enjoyment I find in reading the book upon which the story is
based. Yes, there are some modifications. Many things have been left
out, but Goblet of Fire is a huge book and this has to be
expected. Even in two and a half hours it was a tight squeeze. Some
things have been modified rather than left out, in order to cut down on
explanatory time I suspect. The key thing is that it all works, and it
works very well. The core of the story is very much intact and the
required message makes it across most effectively. Five out of six.

The previous three films have disappointed in terms of
acting at times. Such instances in this film were very rare.
Radcliffe, Watson and Grint have improved considerably and deliver
some superb scenes – particularly Radcliffe, handling the difficult
emotional moments in the conclusion far more credibly than he did in
Prisoner of Azkaban. The Phelps twins continue to deliver an
excellent performance, as do the regular cast playing the teachers and
the other students. Much has been made of Clémence Po
$eacute;sy playing Fleur Delacore, but she doesn’t really get very much
screen time, so her acting abilities are not stretched. Stanislev
Ianevski’s portrayal of Viktor Krum is again good, but not substantial.
The real prize goes to Robert Pattinson, a perfect casting for a part
perfectly played. On balance, the acting receives five out of six,
although many of the cast deserve a six.

I was caught by surprise by the intensity of emotional
response
inspired by this film. I’m not ashamed to admit that the
third task scared me, and the conclusion of the graveyard duel left me
in tears, something the book couldn’t manage me. A well-deserved six
out of six.

The production is greatly improved. Set design, costume
(the kids actually wear uniform most of the time in this film), sound
and camera work are all excellent, delivering exactly what is necessary
exactly when it is necessary. Somehow you can never quite forget that
you’re watching a film, but that might be because it frequently shows
you things that you know to be impossible. Five out of six.

Overall, it’s a fantastic film. Not perfect, but I walked out
of the cinema in shock. I wasn’t expecting the film to be this
good. Six out of six, and I’m buying the DVD.

In total, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire receives a
highly respectable thirty-eight out of forty-two.

7 replies on “Film Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

  1. vanyel says:

    Cliff Notes version
    …but still quite good. Actually, I thought leaving out the whole house elves campaign was a marked improvement, and I thought the modification to how Harry got the clue for the second challenge as a result was more in keeping with the overall story.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Cliff Notes version

      …but still quite good. Actually, I thought leaving out the whole house elves campaign was a marked improvement, and I thought the modification to how Harry got the clue for the second challenge as a result was more in keeping with the overall story.

      Oh yes. You cannot imagine how happy I was when Neville gave Harry the Gillyweed rather than Dobby having to do it.

  2. zonk3r says:

    hmm…
    once again the hp movies don’t clue you into important story elements. if you are like me and haven’t read the books (and don’t really care to) you might be left scratching your head after seeing this movie.

    i can’t say i didn’t like it as i was entertained but there are lots of things that you sort of need to know to appreciate what is going on. I think the last movie was the best in the series in the way that it stood alone quite well and worked for folks that didn’t read the books.

    This movie felt like someone was doing a magic trick in front of me waving their hands around a lot and leaving me $10 poorer and without any good magic going on. i can say though the sfx have greatly improved however. but i was curious when the dragon was going to start talking to harry in sean connery’s voice.

    i said to my girlfriend (a big hp fan) that i felt like i watched 2.5 hours of stuff going on that was mostly filler to tell us that voldemort is back but he’s a pussy and can’t seem to get hp even when he’s corporeal (“Drats, hornswaggled again! I’ll get you Harry Potterrrrrr!”) and the wizarding community is retarded to not put a fucking magic lojack on hp and keep an eye on his ass as he seems to attract trouble. Isn’t he the only one that is going to protect everyone from Voldemort coming back and enslaving everyone or somesuch? minor rant: when you watch the movie it almost feels like the year went by in about a weeks worth of time.

    in the end if you are a fan you’ll likely love this movie, otherwise if you don’t read the books or have a casual interest, rent it.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: hmm…
      Perhaps.

      The lack of explanation of the Priori Incantatem effect could be seen as a downside, yes – especially since they had previously introduced Avada Kadavra as the unblockable killing curse. Without the knowledge of what really happened I suppose seeing Harry block it with a disarming charm is a little odd. (For the record, Harry’s wand and Voldemort’s wand both have cores of phoenix feather, from the same phoenix – Dumbledore’s. If the owners of two such related wands force them to fight each other, one wand will force the other to disgorge shadows of the last spells it did, and the wands won’t actually do the spells they were intended to do by their owners. By the shadows we see in the film and the book, it’s clear what Voldemort’s favourite spell is. Although they left out the ghost of Wormtail’s new hand.) Oh my, I’m such a Harry Potter geek.

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: hmm…

        Perhaps.

        The lack of explanation of the Priori Incantatem effect could be seen as a downside, yes – especially since they had previously introduced Avada Kadavra as the unblockable killing curse. Without the knowledge of what really happened I suppose seeing Harry block it with a disarming charm is a little odd. (For the record, Harry’s wand and Voldemort’s wand both have cores of phoenix feather, from the same phoenix – Dumbledore’s. If the owners of two such related wands force them to fight each other, one wand will force the other to disgorge shadows of the last spells it did, and the wands won’t actually do the spells they were intended to do by their owners. By the shadows we see in the film and the book, it’s clear what Voldemort’s favourite spell is. Although they left out the ghost of Wormtail’s new hand.) Oh my, I’m such a Harry Potter geek.

        What bothered me is that the got right up to Dumbledore explaining it and then he stopped. I felt it was really really missing. In the book the effect is explained at length, but in the movie you get the feeling that even Harry doesn’t understand what happened after talking to Dumbledore. They really could have afforded some more time for that scene.

    • chad says:

      Re: hmm…

      …and the wizarding community is retarded to not put a fucking magic lojack on hp and keep an eye on his ass as he seems to attract trouble.

      What they explained poorly in the movie was that the Minister of Magic had a severe case of denial and flat-out refused to believe that Voldemort had returned from the dead, despite significant evidence to the contrary. He also refused to believe Harry’s account of which Death-Eaters had responded to Voldemort’s call. Apparently the possibility of Voldemort’s return was just too much to handle. It wasn’t until book 5, when he saw Voldemort with his own eyes that he believed, and even then he didn’t want to.

  3. hans says:

    Shocking
    I for one was utterly horrified to learn that The Doctor is a death eater.

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