Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)


Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Release Date: November 18, 2005
Director: Mike Newell
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Summary/Review:

The fourth film features another new director, Mike Newell, and his approach returns to the workmanlike but uninspired style of Chris Columbus.  To be fair, Newell faced a big challenge in tackling the adaptation of the longest novel to date.

He makes some good decisions such as trimming down the Quidditch World Cup portions to just the most important elements. I also like how the film focuses to a greater extent than the book on the students as teenagers with growing romantic interests around the Yule Ball. It is a good way of grounding the story so that the characters feel like real kids as well as magical people.

There are also some curiously bad decisions, such as having the students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang be single-sex and the gender essentialism on display in their entrances.  The scene with the 40-year-old Shirley Henderson looking at teenage Daniel Radcliffe in a bathtub is also super creepy and I question its inclusion.  But by and large, the film pares down the essentials of the story and maintains a steady level of action-adventure.  It’s just not quite as “magical” as I would liked, especially after the more artistic approach of the Prisoner of Azkeban.

Rating: ***

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