Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Short review: I didn't like it.
Ok potter heads, calm down.
First, let's review my opinions of the first three. I enjoyed The Sorcerer's Stone, although I thought it had an absolutely despicable ending that still pisses me off. I thought that The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban were both very good movies, with maybe a slight edge to Chamber. I should also mention that I have never read any of the books.
Nearly all of my friends who have read the books consider Goblet of Fire to be the best of the whole series, so I had high hopes going into the theater. And when I came out, I felt reasonably satisfied with it. But, after letting it stew for almost a week, my opinion has decreased significantly. Although I didn't like then end of the first movie, I have felt that the three previous movies were Complete Films. That is, without having the novels to reference, I didn't feel like there was more information that I needed to see that wasn't there. That wasn't the case with this film. Part of it may not have been able to be helped, since the novel The Goblet of Fire was about twice as long as any of the previous ones, but the movie was the same length. But I still think that any movie should work on its own terms, regardless of the source.
The biggest thing that bothered me was the treatment of Sirius Black. The end of Azkaban set up Harry and Sirius's relationship to be very important. And, while Harry has one conversation with him early in this film, he is never mentioned or heard from again. If he's still in hiding or whatever, it wouldn't have bothered me for him to be left out, but to introduce him and then completely drop the storyline didn't make much sense to me.
I also thought that Ralph Fiennes was absolutely terrible as Voldemort. After four movies worth of build-up over how dark and terrible he was, he actually came off as kind of sniveling and
annoying. I guess that's just my opinion, but it just didn't impress me at all.
I wasn't very impressed with the director either. After how wonderfully moody Azkaban was, this film just seemed drab. The CG was terrible at times (especially the underwater scenes). I also thought it was a step back in terms of acting, especially for Emma Watson as Hermione, who was great in Azkaban and just kind of annoying here.
I also continue to be bothered by the thing that almost ruined the first movie for me. That is, Harry keeps getting advantages just because he is "Harry Potter". In this movie, he only won the Tri-Wizard Tournament because he has someone cheating for him, and was out-right given a co-first place in a competition that he finished last in, just because he's Harry Potter. A hero should overcome adversity, not back his way into things as Harry continues to do.
So I'm sure that all you Harry Potter fans will explain to me why I'm wrong, but this movie, unlike the other three, just wasn't a Film, it was a Book Report. Add to that the decrease in quality of acting and directing, and that makes the least effective movie of the series.