[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B007N0IJGC][/pullquote] It is well known among fans of the Harry Potter series that the end of the Goblet of Fire is the turning point in the series. The events of the graveyard scene change the action away from the slightly jovial adventure mysteries of the first 3 novels and into the thrilling, terrifying and ultimately epic stories of the final 3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire the film also sees a change in tone and director as Mike Newell takes over the franchise for his one outing. The mood, the action and the overall feel of the series gets darker and remains so for this point on.
Entering his fourth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) attends the Quidditch World Cup, where someone sets of the ˜dark mark’ and causes panic about the potential rise of the dark lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Upon returning to school, Harry is then mysteriously selected from the Goblet of Fire to be the fourth champion in the Triwizard Tournament and has to prove himself in a series of gruelling events.
Goblet of Fire’s direction is adequate without ever really excelling, and the film-makers fascination with creating a completely computer-generated ˜magic’ world continues to detract from the wonderful story hidden amongst the whizzes and bangs. Also so much has been cut from the source material at completely the wrong moments, which leaves the film losing its way early on and struggling to make sense of all the plot-lines running throughout. This in turn leaves the audience with a mountain to climb in regards to filling in the blanks, so only people who’ve read the book will understand.
As with all Harry Potter films there is an expansion to the cast, and in this instalment we are treated to new Defence against the Dark Arts teacher Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), poisonous reporter Rita Skeeter (Miranda Richardson) and Barty Crouch Jr. (David Tennant). Most importantly, this introduces the world to Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), the star of Hufflepuff house at Hogwarts, and the original chosen champion from the school to compete against Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.
Pattinson so effortlessly creates a believable, charismatic and enjoyable character; you can’t help but wish he had been cast as Harry Potter instead. In fairness to Radcliffe, he gives his best performance yet as the lead character, and the post-graveyard scene shows that he does have some emotional range. Rupert Grint (Ron), Alan Rickman (Snape) and Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) are all in solid form, which cannot be said about Emma Watson (Hermione) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore). Watson appears to have forgotten how to behave like a human being and instead relies on extreme eyebrow movements as a replacement for emotion. Gambon appears to have completely misread the character of Albus Dumbledore and has replaced his slightly bumbling facade with a character prone to aggression, violence and fits of Irish accent throughout, showing that his casting is the most misplaced in the whole series.
With the pacing all off, Newell has created a ˜greatest hits of The Goblet of Fire,’ rather than a coherent story. Each of the important individual scenes are done well or fantastically, however without any exposition, only fans of the book will have any idea what’s going on.