This is the fifth movie in one of the world’s most lucrative franchises. This is the fifth time we have seen these characters back at Hogwarts. This is the fifth time we’ve seen them go up against He-who-must-not-be-named and most importantly this is the fifth time that you’ll walk away from it all, wanting even more.
Harry and the gang are back for what is their darkest adventure yet. All is not well at Hogwarts. Harry has been having nightmares that are linked to Voldermort, there is a new ministry appointed, defence-against-the-dark-arts teacher and Dumbledore seems to be distancing himself from the younger characters.
The book is one of the largest and complex out of the series, meaning that the writing of a coherent screenplay would have been a very difficult task. With that said, the writers have done the near impossible here: delivering a blockbuster script that will keep die-hard Potter fans and casual movie-goers alike, both very happy.
Director David Yates takes the helm here for the first time and definitely makes the movie his own. He has done what none of other directors have done thus far by getting a solid performance out of the younger cast. No longer is Ron Weasley at the butt-end of all the jokes, with Rupert Grint giving us what is his most accomplished performance yet.
The choreography in the wand battles is simply superb. Especially at the film’s climax where you will see all matters of lovely special effects and brilliant CGI. It’s like watching a well-put together Star Wars light-sabre battle, only with wands.
Off course, the movie is carried by the older actors. Alan Rickman adds a depth we’ve not seen to Snape, Gary Oldman performs fine as Harry’s godfather Sirius Black and Richard Harris is as great as ever as everyone’s favourite all-knowing wizard, Dumbledore. Other notable performances come from Imelda Staunton as the Sunday school teacher from Hell, Dolores Umbridge and also from Ralph Fiennes as the evil Lord Voldermort.
Standing out from the younger cast is Evanna Lyna in her debut performance as the dotty Luna Lovegood, she really nails it and is a welcome addition to the Potter cast.
My only criticisms of the movie is the under use of some characters, such as Draco Malfoy who seems to have taken on the role of the film’s comic character, instead of being Harry’s arch-rival. Hagrid’s all but shortest appearance ever and also the lack of depth to Cho Chang, who plays quite a pivotal part in this movie.
Nitpicking aside, this is the best entry in the Potter movie franchise yet. Anyone who enjoyed the last 4 movies should definitely check this out. What’s amazing is that this is just another movie to bridge the gap between the first and the last. It’s hard too make good sequels, but with JK Rowling on board and a cast whose been together for 6 years now, things can only get better.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is out in cinemas nationwide.