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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes

Directed by: Mike Newell

Produced by: Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, David Heyman
Written by:
Steve Kloves
Warner Bros.


Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

     There’s an exchange between the now-teenage Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) at the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as their famed friend Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) looks on, that serves as an astounding reminder of how far the movie-franchise has come in a mere four years. Hermione, entranced by her popular, Qudditch-playing date from a rival school, asks her two friends if they would like to join she and him for a drink. Ron, envious of the fact that Hermione could’ve been his dancing-partner for the night, responds with a resounding no, accusing her of “fraternizing with the enemy.” The scene is one of The Goblet of Fire’s most entrancing. Gone are the days of the guess-the-flavor jellybeans from The Sorcerer’s Stone and the scrumptious piles of Mrs. Weasley’s food from The Chamber of Secrets. Now, Harry and company have entered dark and uncertain times. Not only must the young wizard cope with the pressures of his coming of age, but also the growing worldly strength of the evil Lord Voldemort. As much as I could embrace Harry’s first adventures at Hogwarts as a twelve-year-old, deeming them part of a masterpiece on this very website, there’s no denying that The Goblet of Fire is the best Potter flick to date.

     In a radical turn from his typical lighthearted fare, fresh off of the mediocre Julia-Roberts-vehicle Mona Lisa Smile, I had my doubts that director Mike Newell would be able to pull The Goblet of Fire off. Now, I regret even thinking twice about his participation. Sure, in a way, the movie is a very sprawling piece of work, but how could it not be? Even though it clocks in at just over two-and-a-half hours, all the possible cuts from the massive source-novel have been made in Steve Kloves’ screenplay. And, for the most part, the film’s pace is very fluid. Not once during the entire duration did I become bored by it. The central plot itself—in which Harry is mysteriously entered into the dangerous Tri-Wizard Tournament in a dark plot against him, with no choice but to participate—is full of suspenseful moments and beautiful visuals. Not to mention, Radicliffe, Watson, and Grint provide better lead performances in this installment in the series than any other, allowing it to pack the emotional punch that it aspires for.

     All in all, I suppose the thing I most respect about the Harry Potter movies is their diversity amongst each other. In Chris Columbus’ Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, audiences observed the innocence and joy of source-writer J.K. Rowling’s world. In Alfonso Cuaron’s The Prisoner of Azkaban, they encountered its triumphs. The Goblet of Fire has hints of its predecessors defining characteristics, interspersed with new themes regarding the characters’ growing into adulthood and the constant battle between good vs. evil. It is an accomplishment which defies the commercialism of the immensely popular franchise it belongs to and opens up a world of possibilities for its successors. Four down, three to go. Now, more than ever, it’s safe to say that, if ‘ol Harry keeps things up, his legacy may become to the twenty-first century what Luke Skywalker’s was to the twentieth.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

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