I’m not going to write about this at great length about this since I’m not a huge fan of the Harry Potter universe – I’m one of the few for whom the books hold very little appeal, but I’ve enjoyed the previous movies as a way to kill a lazy afternoon when they’re on Sky. This one marks the first time that I’ve bothered to see one theatrically after the great reviews that it’s been getting and, overall, I was impressed.
It’s definitely the best yet, and it seems that each film gets better than the last. Even if the Prisoner of Azkaban is apparently the best book, this one seems much more geared towards making an enjoyable film no matter how faithful to the source it is (or isn’t). I heard some obvious Potter fans talking about how they were disappointed that certain things had been cut out, but it already runs at a portly 157 minutes, and thankfully didn’t overstay its welcome. It stayed pretty streamlined, focusing on the Tri-Wizard Tournament and the Yule Ball, so someone deserves credit for making a cohesive movie out of what is patently a monster of a book.
The effects, like the films themselves, get better each time (loved the dragons which follow the Reign of Fire realism angle); I wasn’t annoyed by any of the actors this time which suggests that they’re getting better; and I enjoyed the tone which was surprisingly dark for a 12A. I can’t be the only one who only has to hear someone say that their latest sequel is darker (Prince of Persia wall-runs and swings immediately to mind) to want to scratch my eyes out, but this one was all the better for it. I was very surprised at how far some moments actually went, and knowing what I know about the future books it doesn’t look like they’ll be any different.
In short, highly recommended.