Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (12A)
Time Out says
Tue Nov 15 2005And so we come to part four in the proposed septet of fantastical wizard flicks. Brit helmsman Mike Newell’s made a fine fist of Steven Kloves’ screenplay, injecting even more Angloisms into JK Rowling’s quintessentially British fantasy tale. If there’s a problem, it’s with the length of Rowling’s source material; it’s simply too long to fit into 160 minutes without having large chunks of storyline left on the cutting room floor. Consequently, those who haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books may find this latest episode particularly confusing: characters flit in and out without explanation and scenes change without warning (indeed, the first 100 pages or so – dealing with the Quidditch World Cup – are dispensed with in less than two minutes).
As a spectacle, though, ‘Goblet’ is deliciously dark, wickedly funny and superbly mounted; it also sports some fine turns, especially Ralph Fiennes’ evil Lord Voldemort and Brendan Gleeson’s cockeyed wizard, Alastor Moody. Newell keeps the action centred on two key events from the book: the Hogwarts Yule Ball and the Triwizard Tournament (a distinctly dangerous trio of tasks involving stupendously rendered CGI dragons, scary mermaid-like octopuses called Grindylows, and an ominous maze). Along the way, loyalties are tested as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) falls out of favour with his misguided chums, most notably Rupert Grint’s Ron Weasley (who’s grown into a strapping longhair who says ‘bloody hell’ a lot) and Emma Watson’s Hermione Granger (who’s pissed off because neither Harry nor Ron have asked her to the ball). The ten-year-olds I took along loved every minute of it, despite the creepy opening and violent climax. Stroll on number five, then.
Fri Nov 18, 2005