DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire REVIEW

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (12a)
Dir. Mike Newell

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Dark and difficult times lie ahead, Harry.” These are the words of warning that Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore gives Harry in his fourth film outing. But ‘dark and disturbing’ would be an apt descriptor for The Goblet of Fire, because here more than in any of the previous three, the powers of darkness are gaining strength and closing in on young Mr Potter and they mean to finish him.

New Potter director Mike ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Newell embraces the more mature tone of Goblet of Fire with aplomb, traditional light relief like Harry’s adoptive family, the bumbling Dursleys, have been ejected so that the levels of tension and lurking dread can be ramped up. For me this is where the Harry Potter films change from spooky children’s fiction to supernatural adult fiction based in a children’s world. It's by far the darkest one yet, stepping into real horror territory at points, with a sustained sense of menace and a gruesome climatic graveyard scene certainly worthy of its 12a certificate.

Goblet of Fire might not be suitable for many children but it is epic in scale and gorgeous in its use of special effects – a rooftop dragon chase is a superb heart in the mouth experience, the mer-people below the black lake are nicely freaky. Dark Lord Voldemort (a deliciously nasty turn by a disfigured Ralph Fiennes) is on the fast track to becoming a baddie of Darth Vader proportions.

It’s not all ugly though, Hermione (Emma Watson) turns out to be a real hottie in her Yule Ball gown, and new girl Fleur Delacour (French actress Clémence Poésy) is sure to generate a host of teen male admirers... (see above)

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ron (Rupert Grint) play their well-worn parts with conviction and a nice sense of teenage awkwardness. And the adults are generally good too, even if it does feel that some of them such as Alan Rickman’s ‘Snape’ are short changed by only getting a few minutes screen time.

Harry’s fourth year sees him taking part in the legendary ‘Triwizard Tournament’ a contest to find the greatest magical student. But behind the scenes there is a plot to kill Harry and bring Lord Voldemort back to power. Who can Harry trust? Will he triumph over the forces of evil arranged against him? And most importantly, will he manage to get a date to the ball?

There’s only one way to find out…

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (Fans will love it, OK, most people will love it)

Goblet of Fire photos

My first Reaction to the film

Reviews of other films and stuff you might want to read indexed here

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