Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Stanislov Ianevski, Clemence Poesy, Katie Leung, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Brendan Gleeson, Matthew Lewis
Rating: PG-13 due to sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Runtime: 157 minutes
It’s Harry’s (Radcliffe) fourth year at Hogwarts in the continuing saga of the boy wizard. This time around Harry must face a number of trials, including dreams of Voldemort (Fiennes), his untimely entry into the Triwizard tournament and his first crush on fellow student Cho Chang (Leung).
In “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, Hogwarts played host to the ominous Triwizard tournament, the rules of which state that one selected student (of the appropriate age) from Hogwarts and two other wizarding schools, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, compete in three difficult tasks against one another. The three contenders are selected by the magical goblet and include Cedric Diggory (Pattinson) from Hogwarts, Fleur Delacour (Poesy) from Beauxbatons and Viktor Krum (Ianevski). However, the goblet has a surprise in store when it suddenly “fires out” the name of a fourth contender, which happens to be none other than Harry Potter.
Once Barty Crouch (Lloyd-Pack), from the Ministry of Magic, has established that the rules of the tournament must be abided by, Harry finds himself with the unenviable task of having to compete. However, Dumbledore (Gambon), who is not one to sit idly by, sends Mad-Eye Moody (Gleeson), former Auror and new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, to watch over Harry. It seems Harry finally has an ally during the tasks which start out with having to retrieve a golden egg that is being guarded by a ferocious, fire breathing dragon. The egg, once retrieved and opened (the catch to hearing the clue is holding it under water), gives a clue to the next task. However, in between the first and second parts of the tournament, comes probably the ultimate task for Harry and Ron (Grint): to find dates for the Yule ball.
Harry, with the help of Neville Longbottom (Lewis), soon discovers a way to complete the second phase of the tournament which is to retrieve something that has been stolen from the depths of a lake within an hour. After succeeding, it’s off to the third task which is to maneuver through an ever changing maze. In the middle of the maze lies the Triward Tournament Cup and the first person to touch it is named the winner. Will Harry be named the Triward Tournament winner or are there more sinister and darker forces working against him?
It’s a daunting task to adapt a movie from a book that’s several hundred pages long while maintaining the key points of the book. However, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” does this extremely well.
The cast is probably one of the reasons the Harry Potter movies have been so popular. The core group of Radcliffe, Grint and Watson were good as well as Gambon, Lewis and even Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman who were a bit underutilized in the movie. Gleeson as the wily Mad-Eye Moody was also a good edition as was Fiennes as the convincingly evil Voldemort. Unfortunately Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter wasn’t used to her full potential. We never really get to see her become a real “thorn in the side” as she was portrayed in the book.
There was plenty of action scenes during the movies. One of my favorites, for some reason (I think it’s the dancing Irishman), is the scene of the teams entering the stadium at the Quidditch World Cup. There’s also the scene with Harry being chased by the dragon, after breaking free from its chains, during the first task and the underwater sequences of the second task. The third task was intense, with not only having to stay one step ahead of the moving hedges but also being award of your opponents. The graveyard scene, with Voldemort and the “priori incatatum”, was also a favorite scene.
As mentioned above, I thought there could have been more to Rita Skeeter’s character on the screen. The only other thing that might have added to the film is a little more background on Barty Crouch Jr. (David Tennant) and perhaps staying a little bit closer to the book’s ending. But, in the scheme of the film, these are just minor things.
My Rating: 4 ˝ out of 5 stars
Did You Know? This is the first “Harry Potter” film to receive a PG-13 rating.
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