I cannot say I ever made it a point to see another Harry Potter movie after the first one came out in 2001. It is not that I found it horrible, but more like I could not stop comparing the movie adaptations to the books, which is grossly unfair.
As a whole, books are better than their theatrical counterparts, more so with J.K. Rowling’s magical series, which reads like a visually stunning movie.
However, I did want to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" because the trailers looked great. I went into the movie not expecting to be that disappointed, but ultimately was.
To date, the Order of the Phoenix is one of the darker works in Rowling’s seven book series, and the movie seems to be that way also. The main theme of both is the inner turmoil of Harry. Not only is he dealing with watching the death of Cedric Diggory in The Goblet of Fire, he is also doing that pesky thing we humans call as ‘changing.’ Oh, and we can’t forget about him being brandished as a liar by The Daily Prophet for claiming that Lord Voldemort is back in action and ready to deal destruction to the wizarding world once again.
While Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal of Harry Potter has definitely improved, his teenage angst showing still seems to be a bit wooden. There could have been more growl in his snaps and more anguish while viewing the death of yet another loved one, but he’s working on it. I think he may get there if he sticks around to film the last two more movie installments.
I know you cannot make the entire 870 pages of the Order of the Phoenix into a movie, I think more could have been put into the two hour plus movie. They cut out Ronald Weasley’s (played by Rupert Grint) Quidditch victory, and downsized his role as well. I really wanted to see the flying brain that tried to suffocate him when they are in the Ministry of Magic during the final scenes. Not that I dislike the character, or the actor himself, I just think it would have been a great movie scene.
Two things I extremely liked about the film was the introduction of Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) and the final fight with the Death Eaters. Lynch plays Lovegood with such a dreamy, otherworldly quality; I wished she had got more screen time.
The pacing of the fight scenes are hectic like it is in the book, but words dazzle while whirling movie scenes are blink-and-you-miss the important stuff.
While these flicks definitely lack the magic of their literary counterparts, I wouldn’t perform the killing curse on this movie franchise, but I also wouldn’t skip school to see them as I did in 2001.
I gave this film a C-
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer