157 Min. | Adventure – Family – Fantasy | November 2005
IMDB Rating: 7.6
Director: Mike Newell
Staring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” presents the fourth installment of the Harry Potter franchise, illustrating a significantly darker take on the characters we’ve come to love and allowing us to see the dark Lord Voldemort resurrected to his full power. Easily one of the better books of the entire series by JK Rowling (including books 5 and 6), the darker and scarier take on the story was welcomed by fans of the films and the books everywhere as Director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco) attempts to attach his name to an ever-growing franchise. But, rest assured, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” has many flaws.
In “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, Newell’s direction is furthermore extremely flawed, surprising after the brilliant and entertaining “Donnie Brasco”. Not only does he fail to understand the needs and wants of the actors in their respective performances, but he seems to also clutch no grasp of what made this book so amazing. Gone now is the magic of Chris Columbus in the first and second installments of the franchise, and supposedly Newell was to present a darker take on our heroes. He does so, but at what expense? Whereas the book by all means illustrated a darker take, it did so through a compromise with the more magical and “Christmassy” elements of the first few Harry Potter books as well as the scarier elements. Newell completely abandons the magic of the first few films and goes for an all out “noir”, losing one of the best bits about a Harry Potter film, magic.
The script of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, remains tarred, leaving out some of the best and most entertaining elements of the novel such as the opening Quidditch World Cup – an exhilarating read and surely an excellent addition to the film? A darker take definitely, Newell forgets to show the real magic behind the Harry Potter franchise. Poor acting for major characters, a patchy and inconsistent script that seemingly misinterprets the brilliance of Rowling’s fourth novel, and Newell’s inability to direct both the action and the actors on screen result in a film that is mediocre at best and completely undeserving of the recent hype that has accompanied its theatrical release. Overall, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is an excellent film.