Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix Review

So I watched Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix…

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One of the main problems with film adaptations of books is the loss of detail. Books can have pages, chapters devoted to exposition or backstory but movies have less time and therefore, things often get left out. The Harry Potter series is a set of amazing movies but I feel like there are so many things that aren’t explained properly. It’s been a problem that’s been present throughout the movies leading up to Order of the Phoenix but with Voldemort becoming a bigger and more tangible part of the story, I really would have loved some clarity on certain issues.

Okay, basic plot: Voldemort is back and he’s all set to recruit a dark army to resume his plans for world domination. But for some odd reason the majority of the magical world don’t believe Harry when he tells them this. But why would they? It’s not like Harry fought Voldemort in the first movie, or the second or the fourth, oh no, wait… So since no one is willing to take this risk seriously, Harry, Ron and Hermione decide to form a wizarding army of their own.

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I really didn’t enjoy this movie. It feels so inconsistent when compared to the movies that came before it. There isn’t a clearly-defined set of tension in the movie. Sure the Ministry is interfering with Hogwarts and we all hate Dulores Umbridge but what’s that have to do with Voldemort returning and wanting to gather some secret weapon? It has no effect on the final plot. Even if Umbridge wasn’t at Hogwarts, the plot would go along the same route. The students wouldn’t learn any defence against the dark arts because Hogwarts is a horrible school, Dumbledore would still be mean to Harry and Harry would still go to the Ministry to try to stop Voldemort killing Sirius. Umbridge’s presence leads to some comical scenes and a few laughs but what’s the purpose?

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One of the things I did like about this movie (and also simultaneously hated) were the fight scenes. We’ve had four movies building up Voldemort and Dumbledore’s respective skill and power and we finally get to see the two of them face off in a duel. I remembering watching the mini duel between Harry and Draco in Chamber of Secrets and anticipating this moment. Two master wizards conjuring spells and showing off their prowess to defeat the other. It also isn’t just the typical ‘locked-stream’ fight scenes we saw in the previous movies. There’s a variety of spells and it’s truly fantastic to watch.

That fight scene might have been amazing but the ones leading up to it are pretty mundane. Here’s one of the main problems with the Harry Potter movies (that I’ve been led to believe the books explain) there isn’t a clearly defined grading system of power. Any curse or spell can work on any opponent, regardless of your skill and experience or that of your opponent. We see Deatheaters going up against inexperienced students and the students don’t immediately get their asses kicked. It sucks all the tension out of these fight scenes because there’s no struggle. If anyone can beat anyone then what makes anybody special? What makes Voldemort so powerful if he can be disarmed by a fifteen year old?

Overall, this movie is lacking a bit of focus. The story is muddled and there are a few too many character introductions in this one. 5/10

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