Let’s just say we’re watching this because the new movie comes out next week. If any of you all are like me, and judging by how much money these movies make you likely are, then you have already seen and sang praises about all the Harry Potter films. However great you may feel they are you all have your favorites and the ones you think are a sack of dobby’s socks, and you will fight to death your opinion. Well, in my opinion this movie is the best of the series. Alfonso Cuaron took the series to dark heights that no other director would ever dare take it to again. Not even David Yates Deathly Hallows (part 1) reaches this level of darkness and melancholy.
The movie starts with Harry blowing up his aunt in a fit of rage and running away from his uncle’s house fearing that the ministry of magic might expel him from Hogwarts for his totally justified outburst. He is later told that he is under no punishment for it and soon learns that there is a mass murderer who escaped from Azkaban to look specifically for him. On top of all that the guards of Azkaban have taken place around the schools to search for the escapee Sirius Black. The Dementors who guard the prison are some of the moust foulest creatures on the planet, hooded black figures who suck a person of every happy feeling they’ve ever felt until they are left with nothing but the most miserable, painful experiences of their lives.
If that paragraph didn’t make you feel depressed or at least a little bit frightened for Harry and his friends then nothing will. The Goblet of Fire sees the return of Lord Voldemort to power and even that can’t compare to the pure danger that is felt in this movie. Harry is followed by death omens, visits the most haunted house in England, has to battle a werewolf, and yes even has to travel through time. The movie however never loses its pacing. It is consistent in it’s mood and never gets the feeling that it’s dragging or slowing down. Everything in this movie just works, from the atmosphere, to the acting (with great performances from newcomers David Thewlis and Gary Oldman), to the set pieces, and a a great shout of is needed for the Dementors who are some of the most terrifying creatures ever created in the Harry Potter universe if only for their powers.
Everything about this movie is just made to feel more mature, and seeing as how it was such a radical departure from Christopher Columbus’ first two films. This was the point when the series took a sharp left turn into adult territory and it did it with such a fantastic adaptation of what is arguably Rowling’s best book. For the next film the director Mike Newell pulled back the punches a bit and tried to bring the darkness back for the Voldemort climax, but so far nothing has been able to match the sheer intensity of Cuaron’s potter film. The greatest Potter film yet. 5 Oscars.