Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Release date: July 11, 2007
Director: David Yates
Novel by: J.K. Rowling
Screenplay by: Michael Goldenberg
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Emma Thompson, Jason Isaacs, David Bradley, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Julie Walters, Mark Williams, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis, George Harris, Gary Oldman, Natalia Tena, Imelda Staunton, Robert Hardy, Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, Katie Leung, Robert Pattinson, Oliver Phelps, James Phelps, Chris Rankin
We finally conclude with our Harry Potter reviews before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I just recently tweeted Order of the Phoenix (#HP5OotP) not much ago and now we await for July 15 when the Potter film series come to an end.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix follows Harry on his 5th year at Hogwarts. During the movie, Harry and Dumbledore have to deal with Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge being in denial about Voldemort’s return and also the Ministry of Magic’s interference within Hogwarts by appointing Ministry official Dolores Umbridge (Staunton) as the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. She gradually increases her control over the wizarding school, annoying the entire Hogwarts teaching staff as well as most of their students.
And if dealing with the Ministry of Magic wasn’t bad enough for Harry, Voldemort is still out on the loose and now both Harry and the Dark Lord share a connection of minds which is definitely not a good thing.
“It’s changing out there. Just like last time. There’s a storm coming, Harry. And we all best be ready when she does.”
It’s kinda hard to recap this movie in only one paragraph, but the entire movie deals with the events leading up to the Battle of Hogwarts that will take place later in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Scenes such as the OOTP’s reunion, Dumbledore Army’s foundation and training, Umbridge’s increase in power over Hogwarts, Death Eaters escaping Azkaban to reunite with Voldemort, the battle inside the Ministry of Magic, among others portray the themes of war, dictatorship, loyalty and rebellion that Order of the Phoenix presents here.
As far as the movie adaptation goes, Order of the Phoenix sadly doesn’t portray that well the details and things that made the book entertaining to read. No more director changing in the Potter films as David Yates is trusted to direct the rest of the Potter films after Order of the Phoenix. Steve Kloves wasn’t in charge of the screenplay this time, so it was up to Michael Goldenberg, best known for doing the screenplay of Contact and Peter Pan, to do the task instead. It can be hellacious to adapt an 870-page book into a 132-minute film, but given the length of the book, the Order of the Phoenix film deserved at least 1 extra hour in order for the film to be well adapted and flow naturally. At times the film had a good flow, but during other parts of the film, it felt annoying to watch it.
The acting is fine, but the screenplay hurts the film a lot. The scripting of Harry isn’t as strong when comparing film-Harry to book-Harry, which annoys me a lot. The scene where Sirius Black dies seems kind of anticlimactic. Despite a great fight between both Dumbledore and Voldemort, both Gambon and Fiennes don’t seem to portray their respective characters very well. You end up with the feeling that there’s many moments in Order of the Phoenix that could have been done better.
Despite that, there are things worthy of praise in Order of the Phoenix. Visual and special effects aside, Imelda Staunton stole the show here thanks to a great performance as Dolores Umbridge and her performance is easily one of the most entertaining performances to witness in the entire Potter film series. Evanna Lynch did a good job as Luna Lovegood, she’s adorable to watch here and makes you wish she got more screen time. Scenes involving Dumbledore’s Army training and Filch and Umbridge being incapable to figure what was going on was highly entertaining to watch.
Watching it once can be good. But the replay value isn’t great in Order of the Phoenix, unless you enjoy watching Umbridge a lot.