Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Things are shakin’ up in the Potter-verse. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his usual groupies (Ron – Rupert Grint, and Hermione – Emma Watson) are partyin’ it up with the rest of the wizard population at the Quidditch World Cup. Kinda like the normal World Cup, but things get a LOT crazier when magic folk get drunk. But the partyin’ gets a little too rowdy when Death Eater Voldy-supporters start torturing Muggles and You-Know-Who’s weird snake insignia is cast into the sky by a shady unknown character.
At Hogwarts things aren’t any more normal (are they ever?) This year Hogwarts will congregate with all two other Wizard High Schools to compete in a (friendly) inter-school tournament. And by friendly, I mean that contestants could die. There will be one victor to represent each school. Three guesses on who the Hogwarts champion is? Despite Harry’s young age (you must be 17 or older to compete), he is wildly chosen as a SECOND rep for the Hogs – along with hunk Cedric Edward Cullen Diggory (Robert Pattinson). Harry didn’t put his name in, so who did? Ron’s pissed that Harry, who didn’t want any of this, gets all the glory and stuff… like usual, so they’re not speaking. Harry’s got bigger things to worry about than dragons, like asking girls out and figuring out his strange dreams. And word on the street is the Voldemort might reappear sooner than later…
Okay. Hands down my least favorite Potter film. It isn’t a bad movie, there are definitely things I like. But Mike Newell tried too hard to single it out from the others. The Goblet of Fire is another piece in the big picture, and I feel like it’s trying to be its own movie too much. The big reveal is hardly a big reveal because of all the stupid hints. Granted, this is a 734 page book. But Order of the Phoenix is 896 pages and David Yates does a much better job of condensing. I don’t care that SPEW was left out (although it would have been nice to give Dobby an additional movie…) I don’t care that Ludo Bagman was nixed, I don’t mind THAT much that Rita Skeeter’s main plot was left out. But did we really need to make the DRAGON challenge fifteen minutes too long? I mean seriously, Harry was supposed to have WON that task. They did not need to go traipsing about Hogwarts in a stupid game of cat and mouse. That energy and time would have been better spent on the end. Or anywhere else for that matter.
A few other gripes: The third challenge was kind of a joke. Harry fought a freaking basilisk when he was twelve. A maze where the walls close in on you is hardly intimidating compared to what that kid’s been through. Second, do we ALWAYS need to skip over the explanation scenes? Granted we didn’t need to hear all of the back story, but we kinda skipped over the part where a WAR WAS STARTING. There was a reason that Fudge didn’t believe Harry in OotP. Third, I’m not hating on Rob Pattinson at all, but I didn’t like the interpretation of Cedric Diggory. I thought he looked good and performed well for the most part but he wasn’t… nice enough. Cedric was a symbol of goodness. Everyone loved him, everyone admired him. They didn’t quite… capture that. Lastly, …where was Sirius (Gary Oldman)?! His head in some coals does NOT count. Again, you gotta start looking at the book picture, Newell.
Sorry, I’ll try to stop acting like an immature fan girl. It’s just so hard…
New additions to the cast… again… most notably is Brendan Gleeson as Professor Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody, the new (you guessed it) Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher. Despite his weird machine eye and a few script issues he was pretty dang excellent as this crazy character. The scene with the unforgivable curses was well played, even though Emma Watson was freaking out a little too much. I also enjoyed him turning Malfoy into a dancing ferret… Miranda Richardson plays Rita Skeeter, the sly reporter, interested in nothing but the dirty deets on Harry. Great book character, wish we had more of her story but alas. Two hours is very short. Last but not least, the excellent Ralph Fiennes joins us, albeit nose-less, as none other than He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named himself. Lord Voldemort. His sinister whisper is so icy, his piercing eyes so menacing. He’s definitely secured himself as one of the greatest movie villains. I couldn’t have asked for more. Good on yeh, Ralph.
Goblet of Fire reminded me of high school more than anything else, and that’s the good part. I mean sure, Ron’s freaking annoying with his angsty whine, but don’t we know ten people just like him? In fact, your best friend probably shunned you once for something similar. Or maybe you shunned your best friend. Just sayin’, it happens. But seriously, all of the gossip, all the crying, all the name-calling. It’s freshman year at wizard high. And I did enjoy that part. I love the awkward teen romances, I especially laughed at the scene introducing the Yule Ball. “Mr. Weasley, put your hand on my waist.” “Where?” And oh Ron’s dress robes… I also feel like every young actor is growing into their roles. Neville (Matthew Lewis) got to shine a little bit here. Fred and George (James and Oliver Phelps) provided great laughs as the school clowns. Unfortunately Malfoy (Tom Felton) is still painted as a bit of a fool, but whatever.
The adult cast is exemplary as usual [unfortunatelackofSeverusSnapeAlanRickmanthough]. Michael Gambon hasn’t quite reached his stride (forcefully pushing a student? Not Dumbledore). The kids are definitely growing into their roles, though this is probably Emma Watson’s worst of the 8. She freaks out too much, she’s sooo over dramatic and shouts and cries a lot. Not Hermione. I also admit that the Voldemort scene was fantastic. Eerie, and filled with fiery emotions. The music is also stunning, however much we might miss the J. Williams. The special effects and cinematography are also commendable.
Alas, I cannot ever be fully satisfied. Harry Potter is far too dear to my heart. And this book is so fantastic. It is what it is, though and it’s still got Harry’s name on it. So that’s gotta be worth something, right? 6/10