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When I first walked into the movie, my expectations were not very high.
The first two movies, I thought, were the best of the series mainly due
to Richard Harris' dead-on portrayal of Dumbledore and screenplays that
closely followed the original books. Though the third and fourth movies
were very artistic and dramatic, I couldn't really connect to them in
the way i had with the books. They glossed over many of the little
things that made the Harry Potter series so magical in the first place,
focusing on a select few plot lines and limiting dialog to only what
was necessary to further the story.
As a result they've felt more like a collage of scenes, a series of
puzzle pieces, thrown at the viewers faster than they can piece
together, just leading up to a final confrontation. Pacing has
certainly been an issue, leaving fans feeling disjointed, and those new
to the series confused as to what exactly is going on. In this respect,
Order of the Phoenix was very similar to the previous two movies. As a
Hollywood film, it deserves praise, bringing this amazing world to the
big screen, telling a compelling tale, and keeping the viewers glued to
their seats for the duration of the movie. However, to the die hard
fans of the books, you will undoubtedly be disappointed.
Many scenes that one would think invaluable to the story have been cut,
replaced by the hasty filling in of plot holes. And while it pains me
to ignore some of my favorite scenes from the book being left on the
cutting room floor (St. Mungo's, Harry's Quibbler interview, the
Quidditch fight, etc.), I realize that yes, not everything could be
included in the movie. But in this watered down version of the book,
there seems to be something missing. We still have all the drama and
excitement, but some of the magic just seems to be gone.
Aside from Evanna (couldn't have made a more perfect Luna), the kids
give simply average performances, never really reaching the full
potential put forth by JK Rowling's writing. The same goes for Gambon,
who seems to have ignored the calm, all knowing, endearing idea of who
Dumbledore is, in favor of a more erratic yet powerful headmaster.
Sure, this works well in the more dramatic scenes (specifically the
final battle), but otherwise, his performance falls flat, lacking the
eye twinkling charm we came to love from the late Richard Harris.
Thankfully, Imelda Staunton more than makes up for this in an amazing
portrayal of Dolores Umbridge, one of the more fully realized
characters of the movie. As for the rest of the cast, it's largely hit
or miss, determined by how each scene is written.
Overall, I would certainly recommend the movie for everyone, fan or
not, as it really was a well made movie, despite a few wooden actors
and some bad dialog. But when looking at the books, one really can't
help but think how much more potential this movie could've had.
Tags for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Full Movie
, Harry Melling
, Jason Boyd
, Richard Macklin
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