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Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix: Just What You'd Expect

Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix: Just What You'd Expect

I feel the need to start off my review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with the disclaimer that I am and always have been a fan of the books. As good as the movies are, they will probably never fully capture the wonderful magic of the novels. That being said, the fifth film installment of Harry Potter definitely makes a solid attempt.

The movie takes us back to Hogwarts for year 5, and so begins a much darker time for Harry and the rest of the wizarding world. A war is brewing between good and evil, and the need to take a side is growing imminent. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is reunited with his best friends and sidekicks Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), but the brooding teenager has never felt more alone. To find out why, and more,

As the only good wizard who can confirm Lord Voldemort’s return, Harry is constantly faced with opposition from his peers, the particularly awful new Professor Umbridge, and the Ministry of Magic. Umbridge and the Ministry have teamed up to prove that Harry is a fraud and will stop at nothing to assure that all is well at Hogwarts and in the world of magic. Unfortunately, the school begins to crumble under Umbridge’s nauseatingly negligent care while Harry is forced to confront his own inner demons as he struggles to make sense of the connection between himself and the Dark Lord.

The best things about The Order of the Phoenix are the visual effects and the acting. The young actors only get better as they age, and I was particularly impressed with Imelda Staunton as Umbridge and Helena Bonham Carter as the frightening Bellatrix Lestrange. The cinematography is stunning, and the world director David Yates creates for us is almost better than what you’d imagine when you’re reading the book. The magical action sequences are a lot of fun, and there are enough flashes and fireworks to keep kids and adults entertained throughout.

My biggest problem with the film is its lack of emotional depth, although Yates tries his hardest to pack as much teenage angst into Harry as he possibly can. There’s just so much plot to get through that the audience has little time to feel connected Harry's problems. The movie barely scratches the surface of his complicated situation and I couldn’t help but feel a little empty inside, even despite the dazzling visuals. However, I realize the movie is intended to be suitable for kids which means making light of heavier issues, and it does a great job in this category, even injecting a fair amount of comedy into a story that is often very grim.

Overall, I’d say that fans of the Harry Potter mania that has been sweeping the world will enjoy this movie, and be satisfied enough to make the ticket purchase worth it. Whether you’re an avid reader or grew to love Harry in the films, audiences will appreciate a good reason to take a two-hour escape into Harry’s whimsical world.

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

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Hanouf Hanouf 8 years
I saw the movie 4 times !! I really liked it especially the scenes at the ministry it was so entertaining . Although I was disappointed that there was nothing about Quidditch at this movie . I loved the performance of the actress who played Bellatrix she was so great and the actress who played Umbridge . But still the book is always better than the movie :)
Baby-Dove Baby-Dove 8 years
I love the books and the movies, but in my opinion movies never measure up. Not that they aren't great too, but in a different way. All the action is great, there just isn't enough time to do the books justice. Especially in the Goblet of Fire.
nhancieh522 nhancieh522 8 years
i saw that movie when it came to cinema in olongapo and im soooooooooooo definitely say that i loooooooooove it!!!!!!
SoftRockStar SoftRockStar 8 years
It was better than the fourth movie, but it still hadn't hit my emotional buttons. In fact, none of the Harry Potter movies have captured the emotion and humor of Rowling's books, so I need to stop watching them with the expectation that they will.
omgosh-dee omgosh-dee 9 years
i agree that the effects and the acting were wonderful. umbridge, bellatrix, and luna (especially her!) were wonderful. but there were a lot of things cut out, and i believe that another 15 more minutes couldn't hurt them. REALLY disappointed that they didn't show the mirror, the prefects, the teenage anger in harry, mrs black. kreacher, DOBBY!, the whole fred & george affair, and basically 3/4 of the book wasn't there (i can't blame them TOO much though .. it's hard to deal with an 870 page book) but they also put things out of order - trelawney getting sacked was suppose to happen during snape's memory (which was too short! and for the people who just read the HP7 would know that that is an important part!) so harry can go to the pensive. and some of the stuff didn't even happen. && that it was mainly all harry. hermione & ron barely seemed in it! (maybe because it was too short .. esp for the longest harry potter book!) but .. being the fan that i am .. especially cause this is my favorite book. i have forced myself to like it lol. go evanna!
Padraigin Padraigin 9 years
Saw it again and still loved it, but here are my complaints: Snape's Worst memory - it was the fact that Harry violated Snape's privacy that was the issue, not some random burst of legilimancy. Lost that. Harry being angry with Hermione and Ron and feeling "left out" - that set the stage for Harry's feeling left out and abandoned by Dumbledore. The mirror that Sirius gave Harry. Adding 5 more minutes to the film would have been worth keeping that in the storyline. I would have loved to see Fred and George's parting shot - the swamp. It wouldn't have added any real time to the film's running time. More Luna Lovegood. Evanna Lynch was FABULOUS! Harry's increasing feeling of alienation really wasn't felt. Not enough Kreacher. Not enough Department of Mysteries. No Mrs. Black portrait. There were a lot of other things that were left out that I don't think were as big a deal as those plot points I mentioned above and I know that they can't keep EVERYTHING, but some things... I don't know, they could have been kept.
wynnkey wynnkey 9 years
I thought it was a good movie, but a really bad adaptation of the book. As a film: The actors really are getting better, and you can't help but be proud because you've been watching them develop their skills. And you were SPOT on about the cinematography, I was watching in rapt fascination because the movie was a visual delight. Imelda Staunton's portrayal of Umbridge was unexpected but very, very welcome. Really, as directing his actors and his cinematographer and editor goes, David Yates did a good job. BUT as an adaptation of the HP books, despite the fact that I really disliked this book and also knowing how difficult it is to compress a book with as much detail as HP is, I still think the adaptation could have been much better. You lost the ENTIRE significance of title "Order of the Phoenix". You lost the tension between Ron and Harry, Ron learning to stand on his own some more, Harry sinking deeper into his problems, becoming more like Voldemort and resulting self-obsession (in a way), the setup to the events in the next book... it just left out A LOT of things. The film was definitely watchable, and aesthetically pleasing, but having a true connection with the root of the story just gets lost somehow.
Crazy0vs0sane Crazy0vs0sane 9 years
I loved it. The special effects were stunning. But, if you hadn't read the books, the movies can be a little hard to follow.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
This was definitely my favorite movie of the series so far, although I agree that the movies won't ever fully capture the books. Imelda Staunton and Helena Bonham Carter were perfectly cast!
Rach3408 Rach3408 9 years
The movies don't and never will tough the fabulousness of the books but this movie was definitly my favorite. They did a really great portraying Harry's emotions. I could have sat through a five hour version!! Can't wait for Saturday! I've had my book order since November!!
abeethousand abeethousand 9 years
i agree with everyone above who is a pottermaniac but incredibly disappointed with this film. oh well, good thing we have the excellent books! one quick thought...does anyone else think that Harriet Miers (the ex-counsel to President Bush) would have been the PERFECT Dolores Umbridge?? not only does she look that part, but she's sickeningly sweet evil incarnate too!! http://www.politicaldogs.org/uploaded_images/harriet-miers-780545.jpg
bugness bugness 9 years
durrr, oops. I meant Parvati, not Padma.
Black-Mamba Black-Mamba 9 years
First of all, I have to say that I have been a big Harry Potter fan since the beginning. I think the movie was good entertainment - but that's it. This was the first HP movie that didn't satisfie me as a fan. I totally agree with you, Pop, I didn't feel connected to Harry, not to mention Hermione and Ron. They were like secondary charakters, there was no story around them, the story was focussed on Harry. Well, that's what the name of the movie is, but there was so much missing. And where was the magical world that you kind of got soaked up into while watching the previous HP movies?! There was a magical world, but it seemed like a minor matter. I'm really sad what David Yates did to this fabulous story, for me that was the first time seeing a HP movie and not being totally ravished by how good they transfered the substance of these great books to the screen. I missed it so much being connected to the characters, being part of this magical world, just seeing the Hogwarts everyday life, the arguements between Slytherin and Gryffindor. And what the hell happened to Quidditch?!!! For me, David Yates kind of raped this hilarious story. I'm really frustrated and sad!
bugness bugness 9 years
esk4, your comment reminds me of something. I'm almost worried that Lavender has been omitted, because in the movies, instead of it being Lavender and Padma, it's Padma and her little sister that are always together. What are they going to do in the next movie with the whole relationship... Won-won?? Where the heck is Lavender, and why isn't she hanging with Padma? I really wanted to see the scene with the Longbottoms, and I wish Snape's flashback was longer. I agree that those two would have added more emotional depth. But in the big picture, compared to GoF, this movie was stellar. Tonks, Bellatrix, LUNA(!!!!), Umbridge... well-played. I was amazed. (I'm letting my geek show, but I really want purple hair now lol.)
madhatter madhatter 9 years
Where the hell were the Longbottoms.
rlveronica rlveronica 9 years
Yep. I agree with Buzz. It's like I still liked it because I'm all about some Harry Potter but I didn't love it. :( The 5th book was definitely my least favorite.
esk4 esk4 9 years
I have to say this if you haven't read book 5 in a while, don't read it before you see the movie, I read it over a few weeks ago and it left me disappointed in the movie, there wasn't any quidditch(sp) which has really been neglected since movie 1, R&H were not named prefects, Firenze wasn't even mentioned, I hope he doesn't do anything important in book 7 because his character has already been omitted from the movies. I didn't like the new look for the dementors, I know its a different director but some things should remain the same just for consistency's sake! Also they didn't develop the character of Sirius enough, we hardly had any emotional connection in the movie! I think they focused too much on Umbridge and not enough on what was going on with harry, we didn't even see Ron and lavender together, or hear Weasley is our king! I know they can't put in everything but I think they left too much out!
mellie_608 mellie_608 9 years
Pinkflats - Tonks is the character named Nymphadora Tonks, who is a member of the Order. She's the one who's hair changes color in the film. She's a Metamorphmagus, meaning she can change her appearance at will. She's also an Auror, which is a person who catches dark wizards.
Feesje Feesje 9 years
Imelda Staunton is BRILLIANT as Dolores Umbridge! I really loved the movie; thought it was the best of all five.
floweroflove floweroflove 9 years
I think it's not a children's book/film anymore since 'the prisoner of azkaban', it started to get too heavy and dark. On the other hand, daniel/harry used to be an emo wizard kid, now I wanna do him :DROOL:! he's like shazam!!!! he can use his magic wand on me anytime. but besides THAT I don't feel the urge to watch the movies anymore, a bit too well...dark as I said, it's no fun anymore. when J.K started to get popular and films were made, the books started too get serious, you know? big business, ca-ching and she lost that childlike thing. i regret it, but it's her choice :)
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 9 years
Thanks for the review. I am looking forward to seeing it this weekend.
MissAntipodea MissAntipodea 9 years
Thanks for the very detailed review. Look forward to seeing it soon.
Seraphim Seraphim 9 years
i'm going saturday at the imax!!!! i'm psyched!!! :)
Kellylicious Kellylicious 9 years
Saw the movie at the midnight opening. I completely agree with your review. From Year 4 (Goblet) on through Year 7 (Deathly Hallows), I think that if anyone wants to truly appreciate the films, you MUST read the books. Otherwise, you are going to be LOST. That being said, the new movie is wonderful as a film version of that HUGE book. The young actors do their best work (and Evanna Lynch IS Luna Lovegood!). The books are just, well, the books. There is no comparison. I sobbed through the entire OOP, so I wish the movie brought in a little more of Harry's alienation (and anger) during the summer and at Hogwarts, the intense fear looming at the OOP that Voldemort is strengthening, and Harry's DEVASTATION at his godfather's death. I also did miss at least a little bit of "Weasley is our king," (which does appear as a passing comment in the Wii "Order of the Phoenix" game!) Hogwart's always needs a little Quidditch! Finally, I have always pictured a young version of Helena Bonham Carter as Tonks, so I love seeing her in the film series as Bellatrix. So, for complaints, it's mostly the small stuff that's missing. But I've been trying to take the films for what the are - because they can't get everything from the books in there. The majority of the important HP moments are. However, if Arnold the Pygmy Puff isn't in the film for Half-Blood Prince, I will be very mad!!!
nikkih nikkih 9 years
I want to see it so bad!!! I CANNOT wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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