Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

(2007)

In this, Harry Potter 5, trouble brews as Harry returns for another year at Hogwarts. Harry (Radcliffe) and Headmaster Dumbledore (Gambon) warn that the evil Lord Voldemort (Fiennes) is set to return, but the news is met with disdain by the authorities. Fearing his power in being undermined by these rumours, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, ousts Dumbledore from Hogwarts and appoints a new witch to take charge of the school. Meanwhile, it’s up to the titular Order of freedom fighters – including Sirius Black (Oldman)– to prepare to fight the Dark Lord’s army (which includes Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange).

As well as Harry’s first kiss, ‘Order Of The Phoenix’ is promised as the darkest and most complex Potter film yet. Says Radcliffe: “This is the most overtly political of the films”, and virgin Potter-director Yates: “it’ll be edgier, a little more complicated, emotionally”.

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Flicks Review

Although I am a (technical) adult who loves Harry Potter, I get a bit sick of adults jumping all over this particular bandwagon. Don’t even get me started on the re-printing of Harry Potter with ‘adult-friendly’ covers. I’m going to assume that your overly critical friends can still read, and will twig as to what you’re holding. So, in light of giving Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix fair due, I’ve enlisted a child. Review as follows (spoilers edited):

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By Eimhin Hoey, aged 10


I thought this latest Harry Potter film was the best yet and definitely THE movie of 2007. The movie had amazing special effects, for example when Dumbledore (spoiler removed), I thought that was really well done.

The script brought out the character’s roles and personalities in the film- by this I mean that the story was very much like the book and was easy to follow and understand.

The direction was fantastic. I thought that the director had a keen eye for detail and perfected the little things that made the movie so enjoyable. The way he finished certain scenes really well- you were always thinking “what’s coming up next and what’s going to happen now” like the end of the scene where (spoiler removed).

10/10”

And I think Eimhin’s hit the nail on the head- this film is really well done. For his first Potter foray, director David Yates has taken a firm hand, and it works very well. Yates, who is best known for British television drama- and in particular his love of Ken Loach- seems a surprising choice for the franchise. But then, they’ve always been prone to shock, such as handing over Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to Alfonso Cuaron.

Complaints? Well, I’d like Sirius Black to be that much more dashing, but it seems unfair to hold a children’s film responsible for certain personal issues of mine. And Gary Oldman is very good. I’d just maybe like him to have worn a cape. The middle section of the film does feel long, but I really think they’ve done well to keep this one so roundly under three hours.

And, without gushing, the acting is fantastic. Watching it you get a sense of how much fun they’re all having. Not to say that it isn’t serious business, but you do come away thinking just how good it must have been to be involved with. The new girl Luna Lovegood, played by Evanna Lynch is a real treat. It must be hellishly scary to step up into a franchise like this, but she’s a scene stealer. And of the adults, Imelda Staunton is the standout as Dolores Umbridge. Fantastic.

The other stars of the film are the special effects. They are never allowed to swamp the action (every other film this year, please take note). And the action rolls on solidly throughout the piece. Frankly, I could have watched more. Yates is signed on for the next film already, which is a great move.

And yes, Harry’s a little angsty and annoying at times. At least he’s acting his age. Adults, take note.

Reviewed by Beatrix Coles.

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 15 ratings, 14 reviews
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I loved HP 4, though the first twenty minutes seemed rushed. This had good camerawork, and the visual effects were dazzling, the script and direction were great. But it was too dark, and many of my friends thought it was a bit slow. But everyone thought it was WAY better than Spidey 3, and the battle was awesome. More enjoyable than the book, though it missed out Quidditch, which was the highlight of the book.


I thought it was great but I thought it would be be better, there has been better! The visual effects and the acting was really good especially the new characters. But it was missing all the good bits from the book.
It could have been better


I just went along with the others....


While I thought that the story-line does not advance the Harry Potter saga very far, the cinemaphotography is excellent.
I saw it on the IMAX screen with the last 20 minutes in glorious 3D, so it was great entertainment!

Highly recommended.


I for one don't feel that everything in a book needs to be covered in a movie adaptation. Very few books are written in such a way that a movie could follow it exactly without being tedious.

The fight scenes showcased some impressive special effects and the trio's acting has improved slightly.

One thing that I didn't particularly like was how fake Voldemort seemed to look. I know that he is meant to look inhuman, but he looked really artificial in this movie (it was a bit more believable... More in Goblet of Fire).Hide


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The Press Reviews

79% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • BBC

    Order of the Phoenix is entertaining enough, but it feels like a stopgap, a stepping stone to later, greater thrills. It takes an awfully long time to get going, but fans will be rewarded with an action-packed final third full of duelling wizards, portentous prophecies and Helena Bonham Carter giving plenty of loony as Bellatrix Lestrange... Full Review

  • If you didn’t like the others, there’s little point joining the franchise at this stage. But as Potter movies go, this is the most filmic of the lot, suspenseful and action-packed... Full Review

  • "Phoenix" might go down as the problematic film, full of plot but little fun... Full Review

  • It finally can't transcend the limitations inherent in being no more than a way station in an epic journey, a journey whose cinematic conclusion is several years away... Full Review

  • 1/2 While plenty of the book's detail is compressed or jettisoned, and parts of the film seem disjointed, what we really miss is the magic, which has been banned by the cruel Dolores Umbridge. In turn the movie seems less obviously enchanting than the last few - some would accuse it of being deadly Sirius - yet it still manages to be entertaining and action-packed enough to enchant the family for the full 138-minutes. Yes, Order of the Phoenix is the weakest in the franchise so far, but that's still quite a compliment among a strong fistful of bewitching films... Full Review

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