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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Natalia Tena, Imelda Staunton
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Warner Bros.
Web Site: www.harrypotter.com
Kiddie Movie: Not any more.
Date Movie: If she's a fan of the series.
Gratuitous Sex: Some kissing.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of wands are being pointed at people.
Action: Some chasing.
Laughs: A chuckle here and there.
Memorable Scene: Every scene with Dolores Umbridge - She is wickedly mean.
Memorable Quote: "You cannot deny he's got style."
Directed By: David Yates
Produced By: David Barron, David Heyman

Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix

A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 2:18 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was the first Harry Potter book I actually bought. At the time I bought it I thought about reading it, but figured I would wait until after the "Goblet of Fire" movie that way Iíll be in chronological order when I read the book. Did I read the book yet? Of course not.  Why would I do something silly like that when they made a movie version? Hell, I even bought "the Half-Blood Prince" book, will probably buy "the Deathly Hallows" book when it comes out, and probably wonít read either of them before their respective movies come out. But after watching "the Order of the Phoenix" I am tempted to read said book because either I missed it, or it isnít explained yet, but what in the hell happened to Harryís would-be main squeeze, Cho Chang?

Anyway, letís get to the movieÖ

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends, Hermoine (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) are growing up. Harry is still reeling from the death in "Goblet of Fire," is being spooked by visions, and gets booted from Hogwarts for saving his life and the life of Dudley. But strange things are afoot at the Ministry of Magic, namely being in denial about Voldermortís return and a possible conspiracy against Dumbledore. Harry gets reinstated at school, but most of the kids are now leery of him after Cedric Diggoryís death. With the head of the Ministry in paranoia mode that Dumbledore is looking for his job, Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) gets instituted into Hogwarts to both attempt to dispel the rumors about good olí Voldy, and also squash Dumbledore and take over the school.

Her curriculum for the Defense of the Dark Arts isnít so much teaching how to defend, but to inform that there are defenses against bad wizards, but there is no reason to actually teach you how to defend yourself because there isnít anything bad out there to hurt you anyway. You can kind of take that as something like you can read all you want about karate, but if you are in a fight with someone who actually knows karate pretty much all you can do is throw your book at them and run. She also institutes many prudish rules, much to the dismay of the students, and disciplines her students through torture.

But Harry, Hermoine, and Ron know they must actually learn spells and stuff to save them from their imminent deaths, and together with a group of underground students they find a secret room and establish "Dumbledoreís Army" (which it might have actually been nice if they actually told good ol' Albus of his Army), learn basic defense moves from Harry, get caught, get in trouble with Umbridge, but their movement is already in motion, and none too soon.

Why in the hell, or better yet, how in the hell am I trying to give a synopsis in under a page about a book that is hundreds of pages long, and really, for the movie, all you need to know is that Harry is back and more tormented, while Lord Voldermort is working to build a new Army.

But is the movie any good?

Hereís the thing(s), at least as I sat there in the theater: As Harry is growing up, so are the stories of Potter and his friends. Things are getting more political, things are getting more adult, and unlike some of the fun of magic in the first couple of installments, things are getting real, or as Harry sort of puts it, in class if you screw up you just try again, but in the real world, if you screw up, you can die. The fighting is more intense, itís not just about Harry anymore but also his friends, and even the sort of goofy characters, i.e. Hagridís half-brother, Grawp (Tony Maudsley), seem more menacing than goofy. A lot of the comedy is gone, and in its place is a hell of a lot more drama, and although not really a bad thing, we start to see that being a wizard or a witch isnít just about fun spells and fixing eye-glasses:  Itís a hell of a lot more about people with power who are good versus people with power who are evil.

Now, not having kids I canít say this is actually the case, but whereas I think you could have easily introduced a seven or eight year old to the world of Harry Potter with "the Sorcererís Stone" movie and let them grow up into the adult nature the Harry Potter franchise has turned into, I would not recommend "the Order of the Phoenix" as the place to now introduce your youngin to the world of wizards and witches. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," although still dealing with teenagers growing up, really ratchets things up in the "needing to be older to get it and not be freaked by it" category. Itís a much different Harry Potter than we used to know and love Ė Now we really have to take sides if we like Harry and the good, or prefer Lord Voldermort and the evil.

I liked "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," although have to admit, probably because I didnít read the book I own, that the series is getting a tad darker and it took a little while for me to sit back and relax with it. I also have one concern, and maybe I should read the books I own to find out, but I hope Nymphdora Tonks (Natalia Tena) didnít die because I found her very hot, and want to see her with a much larger role in the next movie.

No longer a kidís movie, Harry Potter has grown up, so I suppose we should be ready for that as the series begins to come to a close. Itís 3 Ĺ stars out of 5 for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." The seriousness of evil continues.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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Photos for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix":

  • © 2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
     
  • Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.
     
  • Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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