Friday, November 11, 2016

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; fantasy, UK / USA, 2005; D: Mike Newell, S: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Miranda Richardson, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall

At Hogwarts school of wizardy, Harry Potter and his class get a new teacher, Mr. Moody. The school will also host the Triwizard Tournament where three school will compete in a competition so dangerous that even might lead to a students' death. Even though he did not submit his name for the competition, Harry is chosen to participate. There are three tasks: they must get a golden egg from a dragon; they must swim underwater to save a mate; and finally to go through a hedge maze to get a cup. However, in the last challenge, Harry and Cederic are transported to a graveyard, where Pettigrew kills Cederic and performs a ritual summoning Vodemort and his henchmen. Harry manages to escape and return to safety. The real Mr. Moody was replaced by Voldemort's spy, but is exposed. Dumbeldorf warns Harry of dark times coming.

The 4th film in the long "Harry Potter" film series, "Goblet of Fire" proved once again to be strong at the box office, yet weak as a patchwork of a story that is all over the place. The biggest complaints should be aimed at director Mike Newell and screenwriter Steve Kloves who 'narrowed' the film down only to fans instead of also taking care to appeal to universal viewers, even those who are not fans of wizards and sorcery and thus do not care about overlong, empty subplots involving magic or schematic, standard dialogues which are reduced to basically only dryly explaining what is going on. Sadly, Harry Potter hardly interacts with his friends, Ron and Hermione, in this edition, and thus this leaves little character development. A little bit of spark and charm only occasionally manage to 'twitch' the movie from its grey routine, yet they are refreshingly welcomed, such as the humorous moment where Harry complains that he cannot speak to a girl alone to invite her to a dance, because the girls are always in a "herd", or the hero's confrontation with a blond lad who did a bet that Harry will not hold up 5 minutes in the tournament. Unfortunately, the film is filled with cliche repertoire (cheap "boo" scares; the constant grey-dark cinematography after which one yearns to watch a film with normal colors; unnecessary dark moments used just to keep the viewers' attention...), whereas the ritual performed to summon Voldemort at the end is disgusting and misguided. Only a moderately solid sequel in the franchise, overlong and devoid of joy or spirit.


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