johnlink ranks HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (2005)

And we now return to our series of HARRY POTTER reviews. GOBLET OF FIRE is the one I remember as being the most stand-alone plot-wise. It also introduces an international aspect to the story, with both the Quidditch World Cup and the Tri Wizard Tournament. I also vividly remember it as ‘the one where boys start noticing the girls.’

I watched HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (2005) on 2.3.12. It was my third viewing of the film.

This is the only entry in the POTTER series directed by Mike Newell. It certainly has some memorable pieces. The ball is inspired, and presents some of the best kids-being-kids moments. The under-water adventure is high quality suspense. And, really, once the final entrants in the Tri Wizard contest enter the maze, everything through the end is top notch Potter stuff.

I have some issues with this film though, and it is the first time in the series that I can really say that. To start, the pre-Hogwarts first act is weak, mostly because it is so CGI heavy. A computerized snake crawls through a digital landscape, up to a house where Valdemort is gaining strength. This sequence ends with enough terror to work anyway. But then the Quidditch Cup is just so obviously a CGI stadium that there is no sense of awe to it all. We also, for some strange reason, get no Quidditch. In general, this movie shows less than it does.       In some films that would be a positive, but we don’t get to see any of Potter’s fellow Tri-Wizard contestants fight their dragons, or really adventure in the underwater. It is so Potter-centric, that there is no real sense of terror. In fact, one of the most obvious missed opportunities comes at the film’s ending, when the other students leave. Harry just went through hell with these two other people, all three of them are lucky to have survived. But we don’t get a good-bye, or even some knowing look. For being called the Goblet of Fire, this film isn’t concerned at all with the contest it purports to be about!

Furthermore, the film introduces this great international community, which subsequent films (unless I’m going crazy here) mostly ignore. Where are all these people two films later when shit really starts going down? I don’t lay that at the feet of this film except in the fact that this film doesn’t want to take the time to make you care because it knows there is no need for it later.

I do think the acting here is improved, as continually happens throughout the series, as the kids have gotten older. And I had no idea this had Robert Pattinson of shiny vampire fame. I actually don’t hate him in this. Go figure.

A lot of my issue is with the writing. This script is filled with coincidence. Certainly much of that has to do with the source material, but it is the first time where I feel like our three leads are forced into central roles rather than it feeling organic. Why does Viktor fall for Hermione? Not that he can’t or shouldn’t, but the film does not explain how. How does a quiet girl who is abrasive when not keeping to herself wind up being asked to the ball by an international superstar who is at least three years older than she is? It might make sense if presented well, but as put forth by this film there is no logic to it.

As I said above, this is still a good stand-alone film in its own right. There is some great imagery, and I really enjoy the last act greatly (which is actually when the story gets back to the good vs. bad stuff). The film itself is still entertaining, so this is by no means a travesty. It just does not live up to the standard previously set, especially by the third flick.

SCORES

FILM: 5; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 4; BONUS: -1

I have to give a negative point to the CGI. It wouldn’t be so bad if this film wasn’t so dependent on it. Heck the actual effects may have been no better in the previous films, but I didn’t notice it, because those films didn’t lean on it. The fourth film is so CGI heavy that it needed to be good. Instead, it pulls you from the story time and time again.

5+8+7+4-1=23

FINAL SCORE: 5.75

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~ by johnlink00 on February 4, 2012.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (2005)”

  1. […] HP4 link here […]

  2. Photo Credit: Daniel Ogren & Austen Squarepants on Flickr.
    Rowling admits she could be writing the further wizarding adventures of ‘Harry Potter. It cannot be contested that Harry Potter has enthralled and enchanted millions all over the globe.

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