Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for July 11th, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie Review

Posted by Ryan on July 11, 2007

I just got back from seeing the latest Harry Potter film based on JK Rowling’s internationally well-known series.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was Rowling’s longest of the 7-part book series, but turns out to be the shortest of the films at around 2 hours and 12 minutes.  I wish these editors would stop the whole George Lucas targeted time nonsense and adopt Peter Jackson’s approach that fans will love it so let’s give them everything they need for a complete experience mindset instead. 

[MILD MOVIE SPOILERS] That being said, I liked it.  Probably the best film of the series, in fact.  Having already read Phoenix, I obviously had some reservations about some of the things that they chose to cut (more on that later).  But, it’s Hollywood and they live and die by the bottom line, plus it’s always hard to please hard-core fans of a book-turned-movie.  I believed that this film was the darkest of the five and actually had much more focus than the book did, which could wander around from time to time in all its 870-page glory.  Gone was Quidditch and those quirky “wow this is magic?” scenes that played to the kiddies in the first two films especially.  Gone was Dobby and any new minor characters that diluted the plot getting much play.  In was Luna Lovegood– awkward and often painful to watch, but that’s how I pictured her.  In was the love-to-hate Umbridge who will get under your skin very quickly.  In was a cameo of Kreacher and lots of Sirius Black.  In fact, the Black/Potter scenes were well done in my opinion and really added necessary depth to the movie.  In was a lot of blood for a Harry Potter movie, the dementor scene was cool, and the sinister Bellatrix LeStrange is the epitome of an evil witch.

But, I had some real problems with the cut.

One big problem with the movie, in my opinion, worries me about this same director, David Yates, doing the Half-Blood Prince film.  The emotional climax of the series thus far was Dumbledore and Harry in Dumbledore’s office after the Ministry battle when Albus comes clean and Harry vents his anger and frustration after having just suffered a serious loss.  I was looking forward to this scene from the moment I first read it two summers ago!  Daniel Radcliffe would truly be able to prove that he is a really talented young actor.  Alas, it was all but gone, relegated to a short, even-tempered measly flashback while Harry was packing, with none of the emotional charge and none of the true sense of revelation that comes through brilliantly in the book.  I’d have rathered they completely cut the Ministry battle scene (which was really cool) than cut this.  But they did.  And I was not pleased. 

Altogether, I did enjoy the movie, giving it a B+/A- as a film and for entertainment value, but a C/C- as a fan because of the major let down at the end.  I don’t feel out of line by proposing a low grade based upon the scene they chose to cut.  Yates and his editors need to do a better job with Half-Blood Prince from this picky fan’s perspective.

Pic from CanMag.

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