THE WIZARDING MARATHON OF HARRY POTTER REVIEW: Next we have “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which stars Daniel Radcliffe (Horns, What If), Rupert Grint (Moonwalkers, Charlie Countryman), Emma Watson (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah), Robbie Coltrane (Brave, GoldenEye), Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow , Gosford Park), Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downton Abbey [TV series]), Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Galaxy Quest), Imelda Staunton (Maleficent, Vera Drake), Brendan Gleeson (Edge of Tomorrow, Troy), Natalia Tena (About a Boy, Game of Thrones [TV series]), Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, The King’s Speech), George Harris (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Layer Cake), Gary Oldman (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Dark Knight), David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything, Seven Years in Tibet), Timothy Spall (Enchanted, Secrets & Lies), Mark Williams (Father Brown [TV series], Flutter), Julie Walters (Brave, Brooklyn), Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually), Bonnie Wright (Before I Sleep, After the Dark), Katie Leung (Run [TV miniseries], One Child [TV miniseries]), Evanna Lynch (My Name Is Emily, It Don’t Come Easy), Jason Isaacs (The Patriot, Peter Pan ), Richard Griffiths (Bedtime Stories, The History Boys), Harry Melling (Joe Mistry [TV movie], Winds of Change [short]), Fiona Shaw (True Blood [TV series], We Believed), Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Oliver Phelps (Danny and the Human Zoo [TV movie], Own Worst Enemy), James Phelps (Ward 3, Patchwork), Robert Hardy (All Creatures Great and Small [TV series], Sense and Sensibility), Tom Felton (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Against the Sun), Matthew Lewis (Bluestone 42 [TV series], Me Before You), and David Bradley (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Strain [TV series]). It is directed by David Yates (The Girl in the Café [TV movie], The Legend of Tarzan) and the screenplay is written by Michael Goldenberg (Green Lantern , Peter Pan ). It is based on the novel of the same name by J.K. Rowling. As Voldemort (Fiennes) is growing stronger, the Ministry of Magic doesn’t believe he is back. Feeling this way, they instill a new “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher in Hogwarts, Dolores Umbridge (Staunton) . She doesn’t allow the students to learn how to defend themselves, but instead teaches them safety in using magic. In doing so, Harry (Radcliffe) decides to start his own class secretly and teach his friends how to protect themselves from Voldemort and his followers.
Tame is the best adjective for this film. That is because nothing spectacular really happened. If you read the plot above or read about it online elsewhere, you would know that the main, and almost only, story of this is that there is a new teacher of the dark arts who puts strict rules on the students, and they want to rebel. It sounds like some sort of dramatic high school story written for teens. While I want to see some engaging dialogue and fights against evil, I am stuck with watching Harry and his friends complain about the new rules and what they are going to do about it. It didn’t put me to sleep, and I will say that I was entertained for the most part, but it would have been a whole lot better if more tremendous things happened, like more mystery, more character development, and more mythology of Hogwarts. The villain here was not Voldemort, but rather Professor Umbridge, an uptight woman who wears all pink and hates it when students use magic, but it’s okay if she does. They did a good job in making me hate her, but come on! All the runtime was spent seeing Harry form a group that practices magic themselves secretly in montages and how she fails to capture them. It wasn’t complete trash like I’m making it out to be, but it isn’t a “Sorcerer’s Stone” or “Chamber of Secrets” either. Besides the plot, the acting was really good and I believed all of the performances. There are many fun characters to watch, even if the atmosphere wasn’t as engaging. The special effects have gotten better and the action scenes, for what little were there, were cool to watch. When it came to the directing, it’s probably my second to least favorite. The way it is directed, unless my DVD made it look funny, made the film look fake. I could tell in some scenes where the backgrounds looked to be green screens, and it didn’t look as distinguished as the other movies, besides “Prisoner of Azkaban.” I enjoyed the final act the most, having the most action and interesting scenes. I will say that some shots of Voldemort make me laugh though, because for some reason the director makes him do funny poses. Other than the storyline having nothing explosive in plot points, I have no other issues with this movie. It was an okay release in terms of the series, but if one were to watch it as a singular movie, they’d probably be bored. FINAL SCORE: 77%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: