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|Index||1865 reviews in total|
408 out of 571 people found the following review useful:
Good though rushed, 18 November 2005
Author: Mel J from Dundee, Scotland
Based on one of the best books of the Harry Potter series, the film
adaptation of 'Harry Potter and the Goblet' had a lot to live up to and
I think it succeeded. As Potter fans will know, in GoF, Harry is now
fourteen and in his Fourth Year at Hogwarts. When an ancient tournament
between Hogwarts and two other European wizarding schools is held that
year, a Seventh Year contestant is chosen from each school to compete
but things go dramatically awry when Harry, three years too young to
even be entered in the dangerous and challenging tournament, is somehow
also chosen after his name is mysteriously nominated. GoF is a sharp
turning point in the books as the tone darkens considerably and the
characters themselves change from being rather wide-eyed innocent
children to adolescents thrust the turbulent, uncertain adult world
where being 'good' or even an innocent will not guarantee your
survival. This shift is also reflected in the film, which was rated 12A
(PG13 for Americans), the first of the HP films to be rated so high.
I have to say I did enjoy this film, although Prisoner of Azkaban remains my favourite of the four. Unlike the first two films, this did not attempt to condescend as much to small children in the audience. The tasks of the Triwizard tournament captured most of the thrills of the book, particularly the second water-based task where the merpeople were suitably creepy (now we know why none of the kids go swimming in the summer term!), but the first task over-ran for a minute or two more than needed. Light romance was touched upon yet wasn't over-emphasised and the Yule Ball will please those who enjoyed the scenes in the book but audience members over the age of sixteen might find teens ogling each other a tad dull (Hermione is very out-of-character and the scene does drag).
The acting of the adult cast is, of course, exemplary as always. Alan Rickman's Snape may only have had four or so scenes but he definitely made his presences known while Maggie Smith really captured the essence of McGonagall. Many people do miss Richard Harris' Dumbledore but I found that Michael Gambon has done an excellent job of moulding the role to make it his own. In GoF, Dumbledore feels very human in the way he carries the weight of the wizarding world on his shoulders and though he struggles at times, his concern for his pupils is paramount. I finally felt the close rapport between Dumbledore and Harry in this film that was missing in the previous three HP flicks. However, the prize has to go to Brendan Gleeson for his scene-stealing depiction of Mad-Eye Moody. Gleeson clearly enjoyed illustrating Moody's dangerous, feral edge.
The younger cast have also grown into their roles, improving from their previous outing. Rupert Grint, usually used to playing a comical and stupid Ron, had the chance to cut his acting teeth and show Ron's darker, bitter side and he did well. The Phelp twins have also improved dramatically. No longer do they come across as wooden cut-outs just reading from a cue-card and instead they are able to show the mischievous spontaneity of the Weasley twins. And I look forward to seeing more of Matthew Lewis, who was great at showing Neville's sensitive side without making him too klutzy. Out of the younger cast, though, Dan Radcliffe is the one who has progressed the most. In PoA, he was awful in the 'he was their friend' scene so he seems like another boy in the harrowing graveyard scene and the aftermath, depicting Harry's anger, feelings of vulnerability and grief. He still stumbled on occasion in other scenes but I, at last, have faith he might be able to do the Harry of 'Order of the Phoenix' justice when the time comes.
The film did lose points on a few issues. Although most of the young cast have expanded their acting skills as they have gone on, Emma Watson is waning. She has a tendency of over-enunciating her lines and being too melodramatic, which worked in 'The Philosopher's Stone' when Hermione was condescending and childishly bossy, but is just annoying by this point. She spent most of the film sounding as if she was on the verge of tears or in a hormonal snit, even in scenes which were not remotely sad or upsetting. There was also a choppy feel to the film, as if Steve Kloves struggled to properly condense the book into a two-hour film. Those who haven't read the books will have missed quite a bit and those who have read the books will feel the film is very rushed. Molly Weasley and the Dursleys were also missed, especially since I think Julie Walters would have been exceptional in the Molly/Harry interactions that take place aftermath of the graveyard scenes of the novel as the film didn't round off in a manner that reflected a boy had died and Harry would be traumatised by what he saw.
I think most Potter fans will enjoy this although they will remark that it could have been better. Non-fans will also get something from this film as I imagine it is hard not to be captivated by the many action and dramatic events but they may find themselves muddled by the story. I would recommend that parents of young children either keep away or, at the very least, check out the film firstly before deciding if their child is old enough to cope with it. When I went to see it, there was a small lad of four or five being dragged along and in the middle of a particularly fearsome incident, the silence of the moment was cut by a wee voice crying, 'Mummy, I'm scared' so, parents, be warned.
262 out of 350 people found the following review useful:
They got Dumbledore all WRONG!! and lots of other stuff too, 18 November 2005
Author: Reed Armstrong from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First, the good news -- The special effects and the music in the this
movie were the best yet! The underwater scenes especially were very
The thing I disliked most about the movie is that Albus Dumbledore is not portrayed as the calm, wise old wizard he is in the books. Instead he is portrayed as a stormy, confused old man that doesn't have much of a clue what's going on. The character of Dumbledore is just WAY off. In one scene Dumbledore grabs Harry around the neck and shakes him, what's THAT about? The very thought of Albus Dumbledore being physically violent with a student is Absolutely ABSURD!! THATS NOT IN DUMBLEDORE'S CHARACTER!! Real Harry Potter fans all over are going to be outraged by this portrayal of Dumbledore. That pretty much ruined the movie for me. Another thing I didn't like about this movie was that so much of the real story was left out and/or changed. I guess i'm just spoiled because I'm so attached to the books... I know it's impossible to fit that whole story in a 2 1/2 hour movie, but there was some pretty good stuff that was left out.
If you're interested, Some of the things that weren't included in the movie that stuck out in my mind are:
- The scene where Dudley eats the ton-tongue coffee and has an enlarged tongue. The Dursley's aren't included in this one at all.
- Weasley's Wizard Weezes are not mentioned
- The character Ludo Bagman is left out altogether
- Winky isn't in the movie
- S.P.E.W (Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare), the Elf-rights activist group formed by Hermione, is left out altogether. And i thought this added a lot to the story throughout the book
- Hagrid's humiliation at being exposed as a Half-giant is left out, and so of course is Harry, Ron, and Hermione coming to comfort him
- no Blast-Ended Screwts
- Hermione never catches Rita Skeeter in her animagus form (a beetle) as she does in the book
- The scene in which Draco Malfoy is attacked on the train near the end isn't in the movie
- The money Harry wins from the tournament and gives to Fred and George to go toward starting their joke shop is left out
- The discussion with Fudge about Voldemort's return and his refusal to accept it is left out. I don't know how they're going to reconcile this one because Fudge's refusal to accept Voldemort is crucial in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- Sirius coming to Hogwarts to see Harry after the Third Task is left out
I'm still ticked off about Dumbledore... I'm starting to think that the people who make the movies just don't even read the books, because Dumbledore was SO out of character it made me angry. That bothers me more than anything else. I wouldn't rush to see this movie, wait until it comes out on DVD. Besides the good special effects and music, the movie was really bad. I Hope this review has been helpful.
258 out of 348 people found the following review useful:
See the movie for action, read the book for story, 22 November 2005
Author: Hypno Toad from United States
It's unfortunate that so much of the book needed to be cut for time and
the movie is still nearly 2 1/2 hours long. The rule of movie editing
is when you must trim for time you remove the sub-plots. A lot of story
and character development isn't there.
But what is there is a great visual treat. If the movie leaves you with questions just read the book or get the audio version on CD. It would have taken a minimum of another half hour to flesh the movie out and that simply wasn't going to be done by a studio whose primary target is a younger audience. (Note how no studio wants to release an animated film longer than 90 minutes for this reason.) Perhaps Alphonso Curon would have done a better job of cohesion but there really isn't much more that could have been done in the time and the script would have been essentially the same. This movie begs for an extended Lord of the Rings type DVD, another 30 to 60 minutes to give you what was left out for theatrical release.
See it and spend the bucks to see it on the big screen.
215 out of 288 people found the following review useful:
horrible idea to make it one movie and not two, 18 November 2005
Author: Lucifer800 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie ran as if it were a series of highlight clips from an actual film representation of the fourth harry potter novel. Details were thrown in haphazardly, if for no other reason than to bring a feeling of recognition from readers. If the viewer had not read the book, but only seen the previous two movies, s/he would not have understood the movie. The screenwriters created no semblance complicated plot, but rather the rather single-minded story of the three tasks in the tri-wizard tournament. All new characters were hardly introduced and remained quite one-dimensional, which is unfortunate; even old favorites got the shaft in this one. There was no time for more than two short scenes with either Malfoy, no magical lessons, and Dobby the house elf was completely absent. Crouch never disappeared, but his body was found dead. The cinematics in this case were atrocious: Harry appears in Dumbledore's chambers in the scene immediately after discovering Crouch's body, but then proceeds to tell him about his scar hurting and dreams rather than Crouch's discovery. There was no magical map, no late-night encounters with Moody, no discussion of Snape and Karkaroff's relationship, nor of Dumbledore trusting Snape. Seeing as this relationship will rise to be the single most prominent issue in the entire series, I was very disappointed to find it was ignored in favor of large and ineffective theatrics, such as a hedge maze without any traps, only shifting walls and evil roots, an extremely obnoxious modernized yule ball, and a pointlessly drawn out dragon chase scene. Dumbledore's lines and the directing of his acting made him look like an old, bumbling fool, rather than the clever, most-powerful-wizard on the planet, the only person of whom Voldemort is afraid. The writers decided to add Crouch Jr. into Harry's dreams, completely removed the second house-elf and the invisibility cloak from the quidditch world cup, and had the audacity to explain that Crouch Jr. had been sent to Azkaban, but never explained his escape. Finally, the movie ended with Crouch Jr. being sent back to Azkaban. The Minister of Magic never showed up with dementors to kill Crouch, Dumbledore never argued with him about the verity of Harry's claims, and the potential for an amazing cliff-hanger conclusion with Dumbledore in all his might giving orders to Hagrid and others as a general before the final battle, was instead replaced by a horrible attempt at a eulogy combining direct quotations from the novel with poor scriptwriting to make Dumbledore out to be a poor speaker as well as incompetent wizard. I shudder to think how the next movie will have to deal with all of these plot gaps, and how Dumbledore can hope to maintain any semblance of respectability when he trusts Snape and continues to avoid Harry in the fifth movie. Much better would have been to stick with the original idea and make two movies. This movie didn't feel like it had any plot, one did not become attached to the characters, and spent the movie groaning or laughing at the contrived immaturity of it all. Some acting by Harry and friends was good, but it was overshadowed by a terrible attempt to fit everything and nothing into the movie.
190 out of 274 people found the following review useful:
what the hell?!, 18 November 2005
Author: em_1986 from nottingham, England
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a fan of the potter book series, I'm going to start with my opinion
of the movie,and then I'm going to slaughter the adaption.
as a movie this was ALMOST amazing. the special effects (other than the captives under the water) were generally of an excellent standard. The acting of the trio was well above what it has been previously. Especially in the case of Emma Watson, who was initially terrible but has improved with each movie. Bravo i say! Rupert Grint is always a joy to watch. he really is Ron Wealsey for me, despite that fact that hes the same height as Radcliffe. speaking of Radcliffe, i was exceptionally impressed! he was brilliant for the most part, but especially during the scenes with Voldemort in the grave yard and when he returned to Hogwarts. However, credit given to those, i have to say that Alan Rickman as Snape is the best! This isn't just because he is my favourite character but i genuinely thought that he was brilliant, particularly during the scene when Harry and Ron keep talking. dumbledore on the other hand was atrocious. I'm afraid this is where my commentary moves onto slaughtering the adaption.
Since when exactly, has Dumbledore ever lost control and shaken Harry. If this is how he reacts to harry's name being entered, what the hell is he going to do when Harry destroys his office in The Order of the Pheonix. Michael Gambon may be a fine actor but he just isn't Dumbledore.and is it me or did the film lack certain key elements that made the book? such as the fact that Harry has a parent figure now? when the Thing with Sirius happens in OOTP, the audience wont know anything about him. And the scene with the Dursleys at the beginning was one of the best in the book! I understand that for the obvious reasons such as time management, certain elements have to be omitted, but this really did take the biscuit. Why alter scenes which arnt vital to the book, such as the way that the first task played out, and then cut what makes the books great. The two things that really wound me up were the way that Sirius appeared in the fire (why the hell they did it like that ill never understand) and the change in who gave Harry the Gillyweed. Those changed really were pointless.
When viewed as a movie in its own right the Goblet of Fire is as enjoyable, thrilling and down right scary as the book is, but as an adaption, to be quite honest, it was a let down.
111 out of 137 people found the following review useful:
A huge, HUGE disappointment..., 18 November 2005
Author: TheScraggler from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before I review the film, let me start off by saying that I am a fan of
the Harry Potter films and have liked all of them up to this point. I'm
not going to compare the movie to the book because, as most people
know, they are two completely different animals. There is no way in
heaven, hell or on God's green Earth that a book the size of Goblet of
Fire could appropriate EVERYTHING that happened in the novel. I'm going
to go by what I saw up on the screen.
What I saw up on the screen was a completely pedestrian effort that made no attempt at contributing style, substance, or character development to a series that was getting better and better with each progressive film. Scenes start and stop with no explanation. The big action scenes (especially the fight with the dragon) just begin with no buildup whatsoever almost as if you've stumbled upon someone playing the new Harry Potter video game. There is no sense of the passage of time at all. The Tri-Wizard tournament consists of only three challenges yet the competition seems to last the entire school year. Ron and Hermione have a blow-up at the Yule Ball because of his misplaced jealousy yet six months go by (the last day of school) and NOTHING MORE is ever said about it? She even tells him that he made a mistake by not asking her out and he lets SIX MORE MONTHS go by without saying a word?!
I can forgive the fact that a lot of these things are just glossed over because of the time crunch but I can not forgive situation after situation that has something happen only because the lead character needs to live. In the aforementioned fight with the dragon, Harry ends up hanging from a ledge 100 stories above the ground trying to reach his broom which is nearby. The dragon lands on the building and begins crawling down to him, slipping and sliding, peeling away shingles as it goes and it suddenly hit me. Harry is hanging from a ledge, defenseless, and the dragon is CRAWLING toward him. He is dealing with a creature who spits fire and who can FLY. One flap of its wings and a quick belch and Harry is crispy. The ONLY reason it doesn't is because Harry has to live.
And for that matter, no one in the film acts or reacts to a situation because it's in their nature to do so. They react in a certain way because that's what the script demands that they do, even if it completely goes against their character and everything that we know about them. When Hermione blows up at Ron, it seems to come out of nowhere. She seems to be mad because Ron didn't ask her and she wanted to go with him. But if this is true, why is she so happy about being there with a competitor from a rival school? And I don't just mean happy, I mean she is absolutely BEAMING when she arrives with him. And at one point, Dumbledore grabs Harry and shakes him violently demanding that he answer a question. My reaction to that was WTF??? Has Dumbledore ever shown that he's a violent person or that he would grab a STUDENT, yelling in his face? Of course not but he does it because the script says he has to. At one point in the film, a particular curse is brought up that allows you to control another being. That's kind of funny because it seems like every character in this film is being controlled by the screenplay, even if it means going completely against character.
But I guess the biggest disappointment for me was the confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. For someone who has been built up to be the devil, he sure is beaten easily at the end of this film (and by a quartet of ghosts, no less, which took cheesiness to a new level). The appearance of Voldemort is obviously supposed to be chilling but, in actuality, he looks like a hairless rat wearing a cape. The great Ralph Fiennes does everything he can but part of the appeal of this character is NOT seeing him in closeup in full daylight. He shows up when he wants and manages to let Harry live because he'd rather talk him to death instead of just cutting off his head while Harry is pinned down. But, of course, that's because Harry has to live and this final confrontation, again, seems ridiculous in retrospect.
The entire Tri-Wizard tournament seemed a little off-kilter to me. You perform tasks that test your abilities and try to do better than your opponents, but to what end? The final test consists of entering an ever-changing maze and the first competitor to find the trophy wins the tournament. So, even if you finish DEAD LAST in every other challenge, if you're the first to find the trophy, you win anyway. So, I ask you, WHAT'S THE FRIGGIN' POINT OF EVEN COMPETING IN THE OTHER CHALLENGES?????? Why put yourself in harm's way three times when you only HAVE to do it once?
Looking back, I just realized that you could completely skip this film and move right on to number five without missing a beat as long as you had someone to tell you two things about the film - Harry's interest in Cho and Voldemort being back, sort of. Here's hoping Order of the Phoenix doesn't follow the same path.
264 out of 448 people found the following review useful:
Best Potter Yet, 20 November 2005
Author: Joe Garrick from United States
I'd hate to face the task of condensing a 700 page book into a movie -
even a two and a half hour movie, but they've managed pretty well with
this installment of the adventures of Harry Potter.
For fans of the movies, you'll find this installment a little darker, a little grittier, and a little more involving. The characters are growing up and are now facing more adult situations with more adult outlooks.
For fans of the books, you should find this adaptation a commendable reflection of Rowling's tale. Naturally, some parts had to be modified or cut entirely - there's no way to avoid that without making it a 10 hour movie - but the parts that were cut were either not critical to the story line, or will be easy to account for in the films to come. Unless you're an obsessive nitpicker about every last detail, you should find this a satisfactory film version of Goblet of Fire.
Goblet of Fire works well as a stand-alone film, as a film version of Rowling's book, and is in my opinion quite easily the best Potter movie yet.
168 out of 267 people found the following review useful:
Pretty darn good, 14 November 2005
Author: BeforeDarknessFalls from Santa Clarita, CA
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all, I must mention that Goblet of Fire is my favourite Harry
Potter book, and so I expected great things from this movie. And great
things I did get, but they were entirely unexpected.
The movie starts off with Harry being shaken awake by Hermione in The Burrow. This itself gives us a glimpse into Mike Newell's thought process. Mike Newell and writer Steve Kloves seem to be Harry/Hermione advocators to a small extent. It's not so much as the fact that they show Harry and Hermione to be better friends than Ron and Hermione, which isn't really true to the books, it more the fact that they've made Hermione tag along or take care of Harry in several scenes.
As the subject matter of the Goblet of Fire book was too vast, many scenes in the movie have been sliced so that it deals with action rather than explanations. In a way, this works. On the other hand, Potter fans will surely expect some more details, and this, I predict will be the main negative response to Newell's work. The end particularly requires an explanation. Newell leaves things a bit up in the air. But this doesn't mean the movie is bad or disappointing. At least not for me. It is filled with laugh-out-loud moments, thrilling action sequences and a few new surprises that will captivate you. Truly, It has some wonderful scenes which seem like they've been plucked from your imagination. Voldemort's rebirth for instance.
And speaking of Voldemort, I must say Ralph Fiennes has done a remarkable job. The make up artist and computer animation guys must have worked hard too Voldemort looks just as evil and scary as he should! This is one of the reasons that the movie has received a PG-13 rating. The highly suggestive yet hilarious scene in the Prefects bathroom, as well as a few very suggestive dialogues here and there also explain the rating.
The movie's casting has been tastefully done. The new actors have managed to remain true to the characters that they play, and are very believable. Miranda Richardson makes a fantastic Rita Skeeter. Stanislav Ianevski (Krum) and Robert Pattinson (Cedric) are well cast and play their roles well. Clémence Poésy makes a good Fleur Delacour, but Mike Newell should have let her keep her hair down.
Unexpectedly, Matthew Lewis and Brendan Gleeson gave very good performances. Matthew Lewis, although he has grown out of his short and pudgy first-movie form and has become tall and slim, has nonetheless managed to keep Neville alive and kicking. There are many funny scenes as well as scenes that can only be described as 'cute' involving him. As for Brendan Gleeson, I didn't think much of him as 'Mad-Eye' Moody when I saw the trailers and the teaser pictures. But he makes a great Moody, crazy, loud and sometimes scary.
There was much debate about the casting of Frances de la Tour as Madame Maxime as many seemed to think that she didn't fit the part. I can see their point, since she isn't the best Maxime they could have got, but she wasn't too bad. Pedja Bjelac (also known as Predrag, in case you're wondering) made a wonderful Karkaroff.
As for the carry-over actors from the last movie into this one, I have to say that I am most impressed with Emma Watson's performance. (and of course Matthew Lewis, whom I have already mentioned.) Emma manages to capture the essence of 14-year-old Hermione quite well. Rupert Grint gives his 100% Ron. Sometimes it's hard not to imagine Ron as Rupert while reading the books. Daniel Radcliffe, the 'star' himself, has greatly improved in terms of acting since Prisoner of Azkaban and, although his performance is uneven, he still manages to be a convincing Harry. The Phelps Twins are remarkable as Fred and George and entertain with their hilarious banter and excellent screen presence. Bonnie Wright (Ginny) has a bigger role in this movie than in any of the others. She has almost no dialogue, but is present in many scenes here and there, which is something. Tom Felton, too, has a very small role. In fact he's only present in three scenes, one of which I am pleased to announce involves Professor Moody! But enough about the talented actors that have been a part of this magical movie. What about the scenes everyone has been waiting to see? Are they well done? What has been kept? What has been cut? I'm afraid you'll have to see the movie for that. If I begin to dissect this movie into what was well done and what wasn't, this review will probably be 8 pages long. All I can say is that this movie will make you feel happy, sad, anxious and surprised at the same time. It will make you laugh out loud, jump in surprise and gasp all at once. Prepare yourselves for a ride filled with mixed emotions. It's advisable to be prepared This ride can get very overwhelming!
241 out of 415 people found the following review useful:
The best by far, 20 November 2005
Author: Asutian from Pasadena, CA
I must say I am extremely sick of this movie, though not for
conventional reasons. Nine reels is a lot to put together and screening
a three hour movie can be exhausting, especially when you're trying to
write several term papers during the same week it is coming out. You
see, I am a projectionist and getting this movie ready for a midnight
show was part of my job. I realize that the fact that I was paid
$14.50/hr to watch this movie on Wednesday night might give rise to
feelings of jealousy among some, but I am currently wishing I could
manage to get more than five hours of sleep sometime soon.
All that said I must say this was by far the greatest Harry Potter film so far. Although it was long, it did not drag on. It had a nice, tight feel to it. It progressed from scene to scene with a smoothness that I find to be lacking in many movies adapted from books. The acting has noticeably improved from the first three, and the more adult feel to this one really drew me in. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this movie was the fact that it felt like a mix of genres. It had an epic feel to it. After all it is about good v. evil and battling the dark wizards, etc. This movie,however, also felt like a high school movie. It had the issues of coming of age, which makes sense as the characters begin to mature. Ultimately it came off a lot more loyal to the book in theme than I think the last one did. (The first two, while loyal, I found to be relatively campy and childish.)
This movie, like many, does have its shortfalls. I believe that Dumbledore was portrayed as a little too intense, like an old Al Pacino. Instead of the benevolent, kind, and good-humored old man I have always loved in the books. As someone that has read the books, I must say another shortfall is that this movie banks on familiarity with the story. Having read the books, I found it very easy to follow, but I could understand how one who has not read the books may feel a bit lost, as some important information was left out and some back-story was left mostly unexplained.
All in all I would say this is definitely the best movie in this series so far, and if the next three are on par with this one then I would be content.
67 out of 81 people found the following review useful:
The worst Potter film yet., 18 November 2005
Author: cryptkeeper3000 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to say, I'm really disappointed in how this film turned out,
especially in comparison with how great the book is. In my humble
opinion, studios have to face up to the fact that two and a half hours
is no longer sufficient to capture the scope and power of J.K.
In this film, Harry is forced to enter the Triwizard Tournament when someone unknown puts his name into the Goblet of Fire, a magical artifact that serves as the selector of competitors from each participating school. The special effects, as always, are spectacular, but they seem to be a cover for a lack of effort, not the results of a work of love.
All of the highlights of the book are shown; the Quidditch World Cup, Harry's battle with the dragon, the underwater world of the merpeople and the enchanted hedge maze are all done in exquisite detail. But this only seems to point up the movie's shortfalls. Michael Gambon has none of Richard Harris' quiet dignity or unflappable demeanor as Dumbledore; instead he seems to jump at every shadow and constantly be lost in the situation. The worst example of this is when he almost tackles Harry and desperately interrogates him on whether he put his name in the Goblet of Fire.
The movie skips from one event to the next with very little shown of the intervening time; action is held up as a replacement for character development and plot. Draco Malfoy, the cruel bully everyone loves to hate, is only shown twice through the whole film. Mad-Eye Moody, beautifully portrayed by Brendan Gleeson, is given little to do other than push Harry along. Nothing is explained of the backstory between Barty Crouch and his son, nor of Snape's past or what Dumbledore intends to do in the face of Voldemort's return.
Along that line, Ralph Fiennes' portrayal of Lord Voldemort suffers in much the same way Michael Gambon's portrayal of Dumbledore does. Instead of the patient, cunning Dark Lord I'd come to expect from the first two movies, he is easily angered and has no control of his emotions or reactions, much less the situation. The scene should look hopeless, but it is obvious right from the start that Harry is more than Voldemort's equal. In the same scene, Timothy Spall seems almost bored in his portrayal of Wormtail, reacting to the loss of his hand with as little pain or emotion as one would scratching an itch. He literally doesn't seem to feel it.
I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Don't go expecting the magic of the first three films; it's gone, and only a severe rearrangement of cast, director and editor will bring it back if this franchise hopes to survive. If you must see it in a theater (and for all its faults, I recommend doing that at least once), see it in a matinée or better yet, wait until it's in a dollar theater.
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