Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Directed by David Yates
Starring the voices of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Jason Isaacs, and Michael Gambon.
A lot of people are stunned when I tell them that my exposure to Harry Potter has been purely cinematic. I haven’t read the books, and I really don’t have much of an interest in picking them up. However, I do like to keep up-to-date on my pop culture phenomena, so I make it a point to go see the movies. Besides, they’ve been pretty good movies so far.
It’s year 5 at Hogwarts, and Harry Potter is a haunted young man. He still has nightmares about the death of his friend Cedric (see the last film or book) and the return of Lord Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed his parents. Throw in the fact that the Ministry of Magic is trying to cover up Voldemort’s return…they’re playing it up as a plot by Professor Dumbledore and Harry Potter to overthrow the ministry. This leads to Ministry Undersecretary Dolores Umbridge becoming the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and she proceeds to run Hogwarts in a manner that would make Big Brother proud. This, in turn, leads Harry and the gang to form “Dumbledore’s Army,” an underground group that teaches themselves how to defend themselves against the dark arts for the forthcoming battle with Voldemort. And all the while, Voldemort waits to make his move.
What I Liked
It’s still a rollicking fantasy film, with lots of new twists and turns in the Potter universe. I was particularly impressed with the Ministry of Magic. I also enjoyed a new character thrown into the mix, a rather vacant, yet haunted young woman named Luna Lovegood.
What I Didn’t Like
Gotta agree with some critics…all the films are kind of starting to blend together at this point. But then, isn’t consistency from one film to the next something that all us nerds want?
A whole lot of fun and it just might finally get me to pick up the books.