Halfway through the film series, we come to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Harry Potter and company are beginning their fourth year by going to the Quidditch World Cup prior to leaving for Hogwarts. The festivities are disrupted when a large group of Death Eaters attacks the camp where everyone is staying, causing everyone to flee.
I loved the Quidditch World Cup scene. It felt properly magical and was very reminiscent of European football fandom. Everyone was crazy, rooting for their own teams and even rooting for the superstar seeker, Krum. The three challenges for the Triwizard Tournament were done very well, too. I especially loved the underwater scenes, and how different the mermaids were from traditional tales.
The music was passed from John Williams to Patrick Doyle (whose work I also loved in Cinderella). There were a few bits of Williams’ music scattered here and there in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Doyle did a great job capturing the change in mood in this film. My favorite song, however, was “Magic Works” by Jarvis Cocker. It almost gets lost as it’s only in the background during a tumultuous scene.
There were a few things that bothered me in the film. Harry’s hair was like an out-of-control wig. Other than on the film poster, it looked horrible. I’m surprised no one noticed just how bad it looked when reviewing dailies or just standing around as part of the crew. I’ve seen interviews where Daniel Radcliffe commented on how horrible it looked. It was a bad decision. This is fairly minor, though.
The beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire felt rushed and choppy. Harry wakes at the Weasley’s, then is rushing off through the woods in the next scene. There’s brief camp setup scene, a brief quidditch game scene, and then the Death Eaters are marching through the camp. Everything happened so fast that you could blink and miss something. Even five more minutes would have made a huge difference.
The biggest problem, however, was how bizarrely Harry and Ron acted during most of the film. I get that they were supposed to be angry teenagers, and I have known a very large number of angry teenagers. However, how these two acted felt very forced. This is another area where five or ten minutes more would have made all the difference in smoothing out the transitions.
Even with the problems mentioned above, this is still a solid film. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the most important films, too, as it reveals a lot about how the last four films are going to work. It finally brings the villain, Voldemort, to the forefront during the climactic scene. Mike Newell did a very good job directing this film.
Release Date: November 18, 2005 (USA/UK)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief mention)
Language: 1 (mostly mild)
Sexuality: 1 (mild ghostly bathtub innuendo)
Violence: 2 (some brutal violence, extreme peril, wizard duel, torture, two murders)