Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Year: 2007
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: David Yates
Writer: J K Rowling/Michael Goldenberg
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis, Julie Walters, Jason Isaacs, Warwick Davis
By way of a disclaimer, I'm not the least bit interested in Harry Potter books or movies, so this was a typical example of so many shop-soiled movie concepts I had more fun counting them than watching the movie.

First there was the thoroughly Americanised British idea, an archetypal hero's journey complete with million dollar special effects - I've always felt slightly sad for the cream of England's performing talent for being mixed up in it all. Second, it's a kid's movie and you may or may not know how I respond to them.

Thirdly, whether this was Rowling or director Yates' doing, it looked like every other science fiction and action extravaganza from the last half century. Voldemort (Fiennes) and Dumbledore (Gambon) looked so much like Vader and Kenobi I nearly laughed, and the filmmakers had obviously never seen the titanic battle between Egg Shen (Victor Wong) and Lo Pan (James Hong) at the end of John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China.

So (yawn) Harry (Radcliffe) still can't convince anyone Voldemort's back, a primrosed psycho (Staunton) has come ostensibly to teach but she's covertly a hatchet man for the Ministry to exact Gestapo-like control. Lastly his godfather Sirius (Oldman, who should perhaps be the most ashamed of all of them) convinces him to join the reformed order of the title to combat Voldemort's growing power.

Harry kisses the girl he has a crush on and everyone in the theatre reacts like they're all virgin wizards themselves, what appear to be very important subplots and turns of the story are dismissed with a wave where they had to fit so much material into a 90 minute movie, and Rowling, Bloomsbury PLC and Warner Bros fleece the world for a few billion more...

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