Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (2005)

(In theaters, November 2005) I’m afraid that the Harry Potter series has achieved escape velocity: every instalments is so competently made as to escape any worthwhile critical commentary, leaving the rest of us reviewers fighting over scraps like “ooh, isn’t Hermione such a cutie?” Slightly more accessible than The Prisoner Of Azkaban, but still feeling as if a number of important relationships were short-changed by the adaptation, Goblet Of Fire hits all of the expected notes and continues J.K. Rowling’s lucky streak in seeing respectful adaptations of her books. Not that the source material is flawless, of course: Harry’s passivity in this instalment is so pervasive that it leads to one asking “just how good a magician is he anyway? Isn’t he just an average wizard with a bunch of handy friends?” But even that gratuitous bit of sarcasm isn’t enough to dim the good movie-going pleasure that this film offers. The darkening of the Potterverse continues as it becomes more apparent than ever that Harry is stuck, pawn-like, in a larger tapestry of dangers not of his own making. Good stuff, especially if it develops into something even deeper in the next episodes. Which I’ll see as soon as it comes out, of course.

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