Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13)
Released: July 11th, 2007
Watched: July 13th, 2007
Runtime: 2 hr. 18 min.
Ticket Price: $5.00 Early Matinee
Refreshments: Swedish Fish
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes & Gary Oldman
Director: David Yates
Rating: Worth an Early Matinee –
Synopsis: Harry Potter is back at Hogwarts for his fifth year and practically nobody wants to acknowledge the truth of his facing Lord Voldemort. The Ministry sends Professor Dolores Umbridge to be the new teacher of the Defense against the Dark Arts, which leaves the students to pretty much teach themselves as she takes over the school and the curriculum. Harry at the urging of his friends gets a group of students to secretly begin training for what lies ahead.
Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth film in the Harry Potter franchise and is based on the J.K. Rowling book of the same name. Until yesterday, I had only ever seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and that was some time ago now, plus I have never read any of the books. Then while clicking around the On Demand section of my cable, I noticed that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was on HBO and thus decided to watch it, giving me two out of the first four before seeing number five today.
Order of the Phoenix was a much more enjoyable experience than Goblet of Fire. This could have been because I had just seen Goblet of Fire and when watching that one had not seen Prisoner of Azkaban. Thus not having the proper incoming information to follow all that was going on. But, Goblet of Fire seemed to drag on and seemed a bit choppy and didn’t have a very good flow, kind of like this sentence. Order of the Phoenix was mostly smooth and kept you engaged with a more interesting plot.
The plot being that the powers that be did not want to acknowledge the truth of the return of Voldemort and the take over of Hogwarts Academy by Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton (Freedom Writers, Vera Drake). This take over leads to many comedic moments in the film, as she tries to keep everything prim and proper.
This also leads to Harry forming Dumbledore’s Army, because Professor Umbridge is not teaching them anything and he knows what is out there and what might be in the offing. They meet in secret with Harry teaching many of the other students what he already knows how to do.
This all leads to the Harry Potter character seeming to really grow in this installment. Learning that he is not alone and that his friends are there to help him along this journey, so that he doesn’t have to carry this burden all by himself.
The special effects, as with previous outings, are outstanding. When flying through London on broomsticks or practicing magic, it all looks great on screen. Whether they have done justice to the books, I cannot say, but what they have done is created and continued to build upon a fantastical world of wizards and witches that all ages can enjoy on the big screen.
Overall, it is worth an early matinee. What did you think of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?