Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
The Dark Lord is back. Dark times are ahead, the lines are being drawn, and the war is about to begin. The Order of the Phoenix was the first Potter flick I caught in the theatre and it brought new dimensions of drama, suspense, and intrigue to the series as it is nearing to a close.
Early on, the difficulty of Harry’s life is clearly evident. As has been the trend, the main title sequence is darker than ever as it the music to go with it. The way the first act of the film is put together really puts forward the isolation that Harry is suffering. Several characters, that should be close to him, seem distant. And the fact that the wizarding world is trying to besmirch Harry, and Dumbledore as well, is an interesting element to have lurking within the story. And as teen drama crops up again, montages are clumsily thrown in, and the flick itself feels like its trying to be a Harry Potter movie set in the ‘real’ world; it is the story elements from the books, along with the acting throughout, that give this movie strength.
The performance for Order of the Phoenix are as varied as the actors themselves. Imelda Stauton, being one of the newest members of the cast as Umbridge, creates great effectiveness with her role. She is able to use very nuanced mannerisms o perfection and achieve an undeniable feeling of annoyance. She really made me not like her, as was her job. Alan Rickman, once again, absolutely crushes his scenes as Snape. He is particularly effective during the (SPOILERS!) Occlumency lessons. And Gary Oldman returns as Sirius Black and is able to bring more to the character. This time he has the opportunity to give a noble quality to Sirius and also act as a paternal figure toward Harry in some really touching scenes.
As the book would dictate this story is about the group of people, the Order of the Phoenix, banding together to counter Voldemort and his forces. And while the getting a brief history of the original order is great and adds for the amazing backstory of these events, the current order doesn’t feel very present through the film nor do they seem as unified as the original group. The movie has a overly contemporary feel at times. The fantasy element that was present in the earlier film seems to have gone. Now, it seems more as if this is a ‘regular’ movie set in a slightly alternate world. However, the climax of the film looks and feels exactly as it should. Seeing the order fight against the Death Eaters is exciting and fun. And the battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort is nothing short of epic. Feeling kind of hit and miss throughout, to the Order of the Phoenix I say,
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