Saturday, April 22, 2006


Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Directed by Mike Newell
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



The Harry Potter film franchise takes off with another wizardly tale of growing up at Hogwarts with all of its interpersonal banter and dark underpinnings.

Watching the young actors age on the screen is probably becoming one of the more satisfying things for me. It makes it seem more "real" even though this is just a fantastic fantasy.

Coming back to the wizard school this time, we see that Ron, Hermione and Harry have hit their growth (and hormone) spurts. Dancing, love, friendship, and danger are now forever linked as we’re introduced to the Goblet of Fire TriWizard competition. Normally set as a triad competition (between three individuals of different schools) this time there will be four contestants, obviously including Harry. Angst and anger are the melange of the day as Harry has to deal with his lack of knowledge about the competition and grapple with his growing affection for girls his own age. Oh yes, and he’s still be chased by the evil Lord Voldemort (the wizard responsible for his parents’ death and the unusual scar forever emblazoned on Harry’s forehead).

Harry’s not old enough to compete in the competition and his fellow Hogwartians aren’t happy with the fact that Harry seems to be outgrowing his own shoes. Is he too cocky? Harry never entered the competition and doesn’t know how his name got picked but his fellow classmates don’t believe him.

As the Goblet of Fire contest continues, we see Harry battling dragons, saving one friend but unable to rescue another, and then meeting face-to-face with true evil.

Perhaps it’s the dark qualities of these latest Potter films that drags me in, or perhaps I’m just a fan of the genre (junky?), but whatever it is, I find the dangers and limited successes of Harry and his friends comforting and realistic (not overly done with a "Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes" attitude). This one’s rated PG-13, too, so keep an eye on the kiddies.

Like the Prizoner of Azkaban, this one has very dark over and undertones. And clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, it’s one of the longer in the series but well worth the sitting time.

Click here for the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie trailer!


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