Review: “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

Posted on July 12, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not what you’d call a Harry Potter expert. That is, I’ve never read the books, and the previous four movies — it was four, right? — all blur together in my mind at this point. With that disclaimer out of the way, I really enjoyed The Order of the Phoenix. I thought the narrative was much stronger this time around than in the last two installments, and Imelda Staunton was simply spectacular as Dolores Umbridge, this year’s winner of the Defence Against the Dark Arts professorship sweepstakes at Hogwarts. Also, without knowing anything about the Luna Lovegood character from the novels, I thought Evanna Lynch turned in a bizarrely appealing performance.

What I liked best about The Order of the Phoenix, however, is that Harry finally had a chance to do something as far as forming Dumbledore’s Army and training his fellow wizards. I was getting a little tired of Hermione running around casting time travel spells in the previous films while Harry struggled to do anything more impressive than lighting up a dark passage with his wand (”Underwhelmicus magicka!”).

The Order of the Phoenix still felt a little too long at two-and-a-half hours. Moreover, I would have enjoyed seeing more build-up to the eventual reveal of this installment’s “big bad,” as well as additional screen time for Helena Bonham Carter as the demented Bellatrix Lestrange. Nevertheless, The Order of the Phoenix was a pleasant surprise from a franchise I had started to doubt. Of course, there’s still only one Harry Potter sequel we’re all dying to see:

Snape’s on a Plane

 
The verdict: A-

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Pop Culture |

9 comments so far...

  1. yoshi July 12, 2007 2:03 pm

    I haven’t seen this quite yet, but hopefully, this weekend we might catch it. I’d love to catch it on IMAX, but not sure I’d want to drive all the way to Seattle just for harry potter. :P

    It’s good to know that he actually does do something. I was wondering what they were going to do.

    And you know I’m totally anticipating Snape’s on a Plane! I mean seriously! it’s Snape! On a plane!

  2. patricia July 12, 2007 2:08 pm

    snape’s on a plane.
    hilarious.
    my sister devours the books (she’s one of the crazy people who stand in line at midnight to pick up her copy) so she was a little disappointed about the transition from page to screen but then again, that’s hardly anything new. i’m thinking i’ll check HP out this weekend. we’ll see.

  3. Chris July 12, 2007 2:20 pm

    The books are all great, but they didn’t start getting really good until Goblet of Fire. I love the OOP novel, so I have high hopes for the film.

  4. Jess July 12, 2007 5:18 pm

    @yoshi: Glad you liked Snape’s on a Plane. It’s actually a remake of a graphic I created last summer during the Snakes on a Plane craze. I was never quite happy with the way it turned out the first time, so I decided to redo it this morning. Doesn’t Snape seem displeased to be stuck on that plane full of Muggles? ;)

    @patricia: I swore off reading the books when they announced the first movie. I figure I’ll wait until the movies are finished and then go back to read the novels. That way, I can be retroactively disappointed, which seems better than the alternative.

    @Chris: Well, speaking again as someone who knows nothing about the source material, I thought it was a lot of fun. Best of all, Harry and Ron finally got haircuts. I was getting sick of the increasingly shaggy-headed students at Hogwarts.

  5. Woman with Kids July 13, 2007 12:17 pm

    I am a Harry Potter maniac, I admit. And I would totally see Snapes on a Plane. Can’t wait to see the movie this weekend…

  6. FrozenPandaMan July 23, 2007 11:32 am

    I like the old one better. Is it ok if I put this on my website and give proper credit?

  7. Susy August 16, 2007 4:37 am

    Did you know someone on eBay has copied this and is printing on t-shirts on eBay!
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=170136898996&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=007

    My friend bought one thinking it was the sellers original idea!!
    I told her it wasn’t and she was really upset to have bought from someone stealing fan work!

  8. webgrrlie August 23, 2007 9:50 pm

    hi! i just found your blog via stumbleupon, so i’m a little late in commenting about this. that being said… you MUST read the books!

    i have a huge list of reasons why (that i’ll spare you), but a “for instance” is the luna lovegood character - she is so much more developed in the book, and she plays a MUCH larger role in the events that unfold. i do agree with your assessment of evanna lynch, though - she was a terrific casting choice.

    i just recently finished “the deathly hallows”, and it put a right fine cap on things. so go get the books - you’ll be glad you did :)

  9. Belle October 23, 2007 6:43 am

    I thought that the 5th film was ok… but tbh i would rather watch Snapes On A Plane. fabulous idea… we should start a petition and send it to J.K rowling lol.

    xx :D


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