Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0330373/
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is by far the best movie in the franchise. The story and structure of the book were simply perfect for an adaptation to film.
In this fourth movie, there is a tournament being held at Hogwarts and somehow Harry gets entered into it. Now he must figure out how to survive several life threatening challenges and overcome a dark mystery surrounding this year’s tournament.
The best part of this film is how the story is structured. The story is just very tight. Where in past Harry Potter films and in a lot of movies adapted from books, too many extraneous moments are included in the film. This causes the film to feel scatterbrained and unfocused, often times adopting a run time that is way too long and unnecessary.
In Goblet of Fire, they’ve adopted only the scenes necessary to move the story forward. Every scene lead logically to the next and by the end, it’s easy to see why the scenes that were in the movie were chosen to be included. I read the book. There were a lot of other scenes they also could have included, but I feel like they kept exactly what was necessary to make a watchable movie and excluded all the excess.
A good example is how any Quidditch scenes are cut down to short montages where the prior Harry Potter movies always spent an inordinate amount of time portraying Quidditch. In a film that focuses primarily on Voldemort and the Triwizard tournament, a twenty minute scene of Quidditch is unnecessary.
Even without Quidditch, there is plenty of spectacle in this film in comparison to the prior films. The movie starts with the wizard version of the World Cup. Then we go the first round of the tournament, followed by the second and the third. There’s a brief intermission of a school dance. Then there’s the big climax with the big bad guy. It’s just a tight story with plenty of spectacle for the audience and not a lot of time wasting.
The acting is also better than in prior movies. The primary cast still isn’t amazing, but the way the film was shot certainly makes them look better than in past films. The camera work is much more frenetic than in past films and lingers less on their expressions.
With that said, there are a ton of good guest actors in this film. Most notable in my mind are David Tennant and Robert Pattinson. It was fun to see these familiar faces in roles unrelated to Doctor Who or Twilight.
I will also say that I felt a lot more emotions in this film than in the other Harry Potter movies. That scene near the end between Cedric and his father really got to me. Whoever played Cedric’s father really did a great job.
Overall, I actually enjoyed watching this movie. The rest of the Harry Potter movies land somewhere between indifference and disgust. Goblet of Fire I actually enjoyed and would watch again of my own volition.