Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Movie Review

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Anh Hang

In this fourth installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise, our boy, Harry Potter joins the Weasleys and Hermione at the Quidditch World Cup. It is here that someone conjures the dark mark (the sign of Voldemort) and is our first clue into where this darker, spicier, first ever PG-13 Harry Potter film is taking us. The trio then returns to Hogwarts only to find their school is hosting the Triwizard tournament. 

I went into this film with low expectations. Though I absolutely adored this movie, I first watched it in 2013, directly after I first finished it’s book counterpart. To say I was disappointed that day is an understatement. I complained about it for weeks, much to the joy of those around me. While some of those complaints still hold true, after rewatching, this movie definitely deserves a review in it’s own right. Director Mike Newell beautifully delivers the darker mood shift built up from Prisoner of Azkaban. Compared to the first two films which are warm and whimsical, the color palette of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is just as eerie and cold as its prior film. The set designs, CGI, and casting were spot on, and the ending left me sobbing.

Now this movie still has its faults. There was a lot cut out from the books. Which is to be expected, but some of these cuts really took away from the mystery component I remember loving so much. For one, the reveal of Barty Crouch Jr. was so much more of a stronger twist in the books. We assumed he was dead for most of the story, so the layer of us finding out he was still alive on top of the fact he was disguised as Mad-eye, made it hit so much harder. I also did not enjoy how they revealed Barty Crouch conjuring the dark mark in the beginning, as it was another cool mystery for us to figure out as well.

I also didn’t particularly like Ron’s attitude. I get he was angsty and was tired of feeling second best to Harry, but the movies are already notorious for mitigating Ron’s character and I didn’t feel like there was a solid moment of redemption. 

All of those aside, this movie was (for lack of a better word) totally awesome in it’s own right. One of my favorite aspects of it is the humor. As our main trio grows into their teenage years, this movie does not shy away from the angst and the emotions that being a teenager comes with. I loved how they portrayed romance in this movie. It’s sweet, and humorous. Very wholesome, and it doesn’t overtake the movie. Harry and Ron struggling to find a date to the Yule Ball is one of my favorite short running gags. It reminds us that even though Harry has to fight dragons and face dark lords, he’s still an awkward teenager. 

On a film production aspect this movie was thrilling and cinematic. Prisoner of Azkaban set up some really high expectations, and though this movie didn’t take as many creative liberties, it was still really good at bringing you into the tournament with Harry. The set design was everything. I think I almost cried watching the Yule Ball entrance. Each task scene was so intense. The CGI of all the magical creatures has left me terrified of dragons and mermaids. The   close up shots of Harry, fast cuts, and thrilling loud scores during the exciting first two task scenes kept me at the edge of my seats. 

My favorite part of this film though, by far, was how it handled Mad Eye Moody. Though yes I do wish the twist was stronger, this movie is so good at making you second guess if he’s good or bad. Defense against the dark arts teachers already had an established history of being problematic each year, and Mad-Eye really came in with a bang. He entered with lightning, his movements were quick and unpredictable. He teaches his students unforgivable curses, and seems to be oblivious as to how he makes others feel. But he also does things like turn our beloved Draco into a ferret, and gives Neville a nice little plant book, and suddenly he doesn’t seem too bad. I was always just aware of Moody, but never enough to the point that I knew he was the bad guy from the start. It was so satisfying to have that resolved. 

I could go on and on and on. This movie had so many elements to it, and I think it did pretty well as an adaptation. Though it didn’t put me on my toes as much as the book did, it brought me back into my favorite world with my favorite characters. Overall it did a great job at setting up for the darker shift the series takes in the upcoming books.