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Saturday, July 14, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

You know those times when people tell you a simple joke, and you laugh at it because it was funny, and then in the end you go, "Wait a minute...what?"

That's exactly like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Only that joke is 2 and a half hours long and the confusion at the end lingers on forever.

I don't know where to start with this film. Granted I've never read the book from which it was based on (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, duh), and coming into the theater, I was expecting it to be newbie friendly (like most movies are supposed to be). Instead I am thrust into a conflict I don't know anything about, and forced to join an 'order' I want no part of, and expected to look for a plot device I wasn't even told to look for in the first place.

As usual, all "Harry Potter is 15 but the guy playing him is 20" jokes aside, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson (pseudo-lolita obsession) and that Ron Weasley kid (forgot his name. He's that forgettable!) give okay performances. Their classmates get a little bit of the spotlight this time, becoming part of Harry's army against Voldemort (yeah, he-who-should-shut-up-now)...I think. Needless to say the 'joke' analogy I described at the beginning of this blog post is in effect.


WRITING: (2/10)
I dunno. Is this where the badness started? I don't know how hard it is to translate a book, which is like, already written down, into a screenplay, but I wish there was some sort of explanation as to why stuff happens, you know?

So there was fear-mongering...Order of the Phoenix stuff (was the "order" the teachers, or those students Harry recruited?)...Voldemort's invading Harry's mind (I think...)...Hagrid was away from Hogwarts (for no apparent reason) and is back again (which was so forced no one really cared)...he brought his brother with him (an ugly giant baby which was practically screaming "I was put here as a plot point!")...Sirius' house elf is speaking in gibberish and Sirius silences him (which I find out only now that what the house elf said was pivotal to the seventh and last book...*slams head on wall*)

Then Sirius' crazy-ass sister escapes Azkaban (and never heard of again until the last 15 minutes of this movie!) and then all that hoopla about Voldemort...but near the climax of the movie, I find out that the whole reason the movie exists is because Voldemort wants the "Prophecy", that shiny ball thingy Harry's holding in the goddamn movie posters, which wasn't even hinted at in the beginning of this movie! And now they expect us to care about this plot point with 15 minutes left till the ending?

Not only that, but Sirius' death was done so cheaply it literally looked like it was adlibbed. Seriously. I don't know how much you guys are paying J.K. Rowling to keep telling us "this movie about my book is great!" but you better stop.

ACTING: (5/10)
That woman portraying crazy bitch Dolores Umbridge almost stole the show. She was absolutely despicable, and therefore absolutely perfect for the role.

But what stole the show for me was Evanna Lynch, the girl who played ditzy Luna Lovegood. She was absolutely adorable with her faux-innocence and inner intelligence. My favorite character so far.

Better thank Evanna, guys. She saved you from the failing grade.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: (3/10)
Apparently the writers thought if they give me enough subliminal "flashes" of the Orb of Prophecy during Harry's nightmare scenes, I'd realize that it's what Voldemort's been looking all this time and that it's important in the movie's climax. Wrong.

FUN FACTOR: (7/10)
The only good parts of the movie were in the last 15 minutes. The showdown between the escaped Azkaban prisoners and the Order of the Phoenix was badass. Nothing like two massively powered people duking it out with all they've got. The showdown between Dumbledore and Voldemort was also kick ass. Needless to say nobody would want to mess with ol' man Dumbledore after this!

OVERALL: (4/10)
What could have been another stellar Harry Potter movie was now a loosely plotted disaster. The writers kept sticking in characters into the plot, expecting you'd know why coz, like, the whole world has read Harry Potter right?

Wrong again.

The Harry Potter franchise, along with it's cast, is showing its age in this movie. And that's terrible.
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