Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373889/ and https://www.warnerbros.com/movies/harry-potter-and-order-phoenix/

Score: 6.8/10

I’m stuck at home watching t.v. and yet another movie I’ve seen before was one. This film still isn’t great as it’s very scatterbrained, like most films based on books. However, it is still mostly better than every Harry Potter movie that came before.

At this point in the Harry Potter series, Voldemort, the most evil wizard ever, has come back. Conservative elements in the magical community refuse to believe his return and it is up to Harry Potter and his friends to form their own little magical militia in order to combat him.

As said above, films based on movies flop mostly because there are too many things going on in a book and a movie needs to be focused. There needs to be a primary push towards a specific goal whereas a book can go into a million different directions. This is because books can be thousands of pages where a modern day movie is on average about an hour and a half.

The Order of the Phoenix is one of the first movies with a tighter script than the prior movies. There are basically two things you want to achieve with Harry Potter movies: you want the primary plot/conflict and you want to convey that feeling of being part of a magical school. The primary plot refers to the overarching story between Harry and Voldemort. The feeling of being part of a magical school refers to everything else. This is the biggest difficulty in making these movies because you have to decide what to cut and what to keep and there is so much to go through. Further, cutting the wrong thing will make the movie feel incomplete.

And that’s one of the two primary problem with the Harry Potter movies. The other is that the primary cast aren’t all that great at acting. I’m talking about Harry, Ron and Hermione.

While the change in quality between Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban may be the largest, The Order of the Phoenix may be the one of the first times they succeeded at a decent movie. It tightened the plot and focused on the primary story, which is Harry training with his classmates. Accordingly, we get to see more of the relationship between the classmates because that is directly related the primary plot, enhancing that second prong of a good Harry Potter story.

What also helped the movie was that the actors got better. You need to remember that they picked these kids out years ago and that they’ve been learning how to act along the way. In this movie, they’re at least somewhat believable.

Visually, the movie has a ton of special effects and looks great. The set design is also great. Most importantly, we finally get to see a climactic magical battle near the end of the movie that we’ve always wanted to see. It was okay. I watch a lot of anime so I was expecting more. Still looked pretty cool.

Overall, this movie was fine… as long as you’re a fan of Harry Potter. If you are, then you’ll find that this movie is about as good as the series will get. The actors are about as good as they’ll get for the rest of the franchise. The story is also about as streamlined as movies ever get.

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