Harry putts a loser!
12 December 2005
Let's get one thing straight - Emma Watson in that ball gown at the top of the staircase has to rank as one of the most entrancing and serenely beautiful sights my eyes have beheld since I saw my wife (then, only a few years older than Emma) glide into the church on our wedding day. Nothing in this movie was ever going to top that emotionally riveting scene. Every man's dream - a mixture of childish innocence, youthful beauty and understated desire, who could deny she embodied at that moment, every aspect of sought-after femininity a man could crave? The film hit the heights in places - the computer graphics for the Quidditch World Cup. The awesome dragon-fight sequences - the scenes of the beast scrabbling and dislodging tiles on the steeples of Hogwarts was unadulterated movie magic. The inspired underwater camera-work with the creatures of the deep bent on making life excessively uncomfortable for Harry.

What the film lacked was continuity and in the upshot - purpose. Almost everything you saw in this film would have made not the slightest difference in whatever order you saw it. Scenes came and went which may well have been meaningful to those who live and breathe Potter and who have read the book cover to cover, but for the unconverted...a case of huh?? What a chronic waste of those stunning Quidditch World Cup scenes when you never got to see any World Cup. All that pre-release guff about Harry Potter's first big romance and screen kiss with the young Japanese student....they barely had three lines together! Radcliffe himself - back to his ultra wooden ways of the Philosopher's Stone - he has no vocal delivery or 'presence' whatsoever. As always - it is left to Emma Watson to act her two co-stars right off the screen.

Visually sumptuous but sadly lacking in meaningful come-uppance. A good test of any movie is to ask yourself "Could you sit through that again?" The last two films in the series - yes I could...this one - no way!!!
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