JT Film Review

29 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix REVIEW

4/5 stars

Director – David Yates

Cast – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Imelda Staunton, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Mathew Lewis

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— follows Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

— followed by Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

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harry_potter_and_the_order_of_the_phoenix_ver10

The fifth installment of the Harry Potter Series is the first one directed by British TV director David Yates. His previous credits include the original BBC miniseries State of Play, of which the recent Russel Crowe film was based on. He brings his TV sensibility here, and actually treats the characters like fully dimensional people, which is certainly nice.

Not, of course, that there isn’t room for some wonderfully fun performances. Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge is a blast to watch, she is easily one of the easiest people to hate that I have ever seen in a movie. Ralph Fiennes is perfectly cast as top baddie Voldermort, and the rest of the cast does well; Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have grown into their roles. The acting all the way round is great, no faults there.

And that is somewhat representative of this movie, it’s good, not great. On the bad side, at times the CGI is unconvincing, for example a scene involving centaurs. Their movements are far too fast, and they sound strange as well. However, as I said, the acting is great. What elevates this movie is the direction of David Yates; he has taken in it in a realistic direction which is a great improvement over *cough* Chris Columbus.

harry-potter-and-the-order-of-the-phoenixA couple new characters have been added here. One is Luna Lovegood; she is a loopy student who is quite enthralling, and about whom we eventually gain a real affection for. The other is Grawp. He is a Giant, and is Hagrid’s half-brother. I felt very odd in his scenes. He has an ethereal feel to him, like he’s not quite there. This and the centaur scene are the only CGI quibbles I had, the final battle is spectacular, as are the rest of the effects.

A short review, but there isn’t too much to say, really.

OVERALL

This is a good movie, a decent fantasy. David Yates is bringing the franchise to a grimier, more realistic direction, and I can’t wait to see what he does with the remaining movies.

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TRAILER

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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July 21, 2009 - Posted by | 4 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Fantasy, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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