Harry Potter (5) and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Director: David Yates
Cast : Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Robert Pattinson
Synopsis; After a lonely summer on Privet Drive, Harry returns to a Hogwarts full of ill-fortune. Few of students and parents believe him or Dumbledore that Voldemort is really back. The ministry had decided to step in by appointing a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that proves to be the nastiest person Harry has ever encountered. Harry also can’t help stealing glances with the beautiful Cho Chang. To top it off are dreams that Harry can’t explain, and a mystery behind something Voldemort is searching for. With these many things Harry begins one of his toughest years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: For those of you looking for a faithful adaptation of Order of the Phoenix, this film isn’t it. How director David Yates got the go to direct completely baffles me. Not since Chris Columbus’ stilted pacing has a HP film disappointed me. I realize that in a book as rich in detail as the HP series something is bound to be left out in the film version, but the direction and editing of this film leave much to be desired.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: The film opens in Little Whinging with the dementor attack on Harry and Dudley. Mrs. Figg happens across the boys as if by accident just after Harry defeats the Dementors with his Patronus, but is never “outed” as a squib. The Dursleys were more worried than horrified, and never threatened Harry with expulsion from their house. The sheer vileness that audiences last saw in Prisoner of Azkaban was notable absent, leaving the view to wonder what happened to bring us the weak and whimpering version of the Dursleys that appears in this film.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: When Harry is brought to the Order’s headquarters, very little is made of the fact that the Noble House of Black was once a bastion of pure-blood fanaticism. Kreature makes a very weak appearance, and the simple existence of Regulus Black (R.A.B.?) was never even touched upon.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: Fred and George remain the comic relief, but the ever developing character of Ginny Weasley is ignored. Even more upsetting was the notable absence of Mrs. Weasly’s growing concern for her family’s safety. I thought that one of the most touching moments in the book was the chapter in which Mrs. Weasly attempts of banish the boggart only to have it continually morph into the horrifying visages of various dead loved ones. Bill and Charlie were also not mentioned, leaving the viewer to wonder if the film franchise plans to reduce the Weasly family from 9 to 7.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: As excited as I was with the casting of Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge, I felt that Yate simply did not do her justice. Yes she was vile, but not in the bureaucratic evil way Rowling depicted her in the novel. She simpered, but I just did not get the feeling that she took malicious pleasure that she should have in what she did as the High Inquisitor.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: The rumored St. Mungo’s scene, while it may have been filmed, was disappointingly absent, with the film jumping from Mr. Weasly’s attack in the ministry (although why he was in the Deapartment of Mysteries was never addressed) to Christmas dinner at the HQ and a lame “Here’s Daddy!” from Mrs. Weasly.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: Even more disappointing was the depiction of the Department of Mysteries. I entered the movie hoping for some wicked effects and bizarre magical elements, and was left with just the Hall of Prophesies and the mysterious doorway. To add insult to injury, the relationship between Sirius and Harry was never developed to the point where Harry would naturally feel devastated by the loss of his godfather. I felt as though their relationship was more vague friend of the family then Harry beginning to look to Sirius as a surrogate father figure.
Watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie: Over all the continuity of the film felt too rushed and disjointed, as opposed to the more fluid Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of fire. Relationships between the characters felt forced, which I found odd, considering the fact that the cast has been working together for 7 years or so. If any of my personal suspicions and predictions for the future of Harry are accurate, this film has left out numerous key elements. That being the case, then films 6 and 7 will have to scramble to make up for what this film lacks. As Yates is slated to direct the next installment, I can only look to it with a feeling of dread, wondering how he will mangle the Half-Blood Prince.
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