The Goblet of Fire is among the darkest Harry Potter films. It is so dark that it’s puzzling to me that the film did not earn an R rating. Aside from no swearing the film contains death, dismemberment, torture, and shows a dark being born from body parts and blood in detail. In short this film is certainly not for the little ones no matter the rating it earned.
Mike Newell is at the director’s chair this go around, best known for directing Four Weddings and a Funeral. He definitely continues the dark tone from the Prisoner of Azkaban and makes a serious movie from the story instead of pandering to kids. The results are very good as Goblet of Fire is an exciting film. There is a lot going on inside this movie as it was adapted from a book more than twice the size of the previous films.
Steve Kloves again writes the adaption and has the unenviable task of trying to edit a large book packed with dozens of new characters and more action than the previous books combined into a two hour movie. He does as good of a job that can be expected as the task is nearly impossible, but the fans of the book will have little trouble finding several plotlines that are absent from the movie completely. I will admit that the Goblet of Fire was my favorite book from the series so it is hard not to be let down that the movie is missing some of my favorite components from the book. The pacing is quick too, so emotional notes from the book are glossed over at blurring speeds. If there ever was a book that deserved to be separated into multiple films (much like the seventh book/film in the series) Goblet of Fire was it.
The movie introduces dozens of new characters to great effect. The favorite will be Mad Eyed Moody, a new professor that was a famous evil wizard hunter. He’s crusty, mean and a lot of fun to watch. Girls will love the few scenes of Robert Pattinson who plays a classmate of Harry Potter. Pattinson is only featured in a handful of scenes here, but he is better in Goblet of Fire than anything that followed.
The main event in Goblet of Fire is Lord Voldemort’s rebirth. Ralph Feinnes plays the part of Voldemort which is inspired casting. Feinnes is one of the finest actors working today and his performance of Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List is perhaps one of the most frightening characters in recent memory. Feinnes brings a presence and intensity into the role of Voldemort that few others could bring. The make up is scary but Feinnes mannerisms and delivery make the character horrifying.
Goblet of Fire is packed with action and slows down in a few spots for fun and romance. The three main characters are growing up and are full fledge teenagers. All three of them have romantic interests and like most teenagers have no idea what to do with those feelings. The emotional aspects of the film are handle well by Newell, as that is his forte. All of the action is thrilling and the effects are put to good use. Scenes involving a dragon chase and a spooky garden maze (which is eerily reminiscent of the Shining) are tension filled as well as exciting.
My only complaint with the film is it was not long enough. There is so much action and information crammed into the movie I know with a slower pace the film could have delivered a much larger impact. This is not the fault of the writer or the film makers as they only had two hours to work with. As it stands this is the darkest and most action packed Harry Potter of the series. It’s a great film but the only film in the series I felt left too much edited out from the book.
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Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.
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