Opened in Korea. 11 July 2007
How I saw it. CGV 3D IMAX
Plot. After returning to Hogwarts to begin his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter discovers that much of the wizarding world, including the Ministry of Magic, is in denial about Lord Voldemort's return. The Order of the Phoenix, a group sworn against Voldemort, is using its vast array of wizards and witches magical abilities to combat Voldemort. Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, suspects that Dumbledore is using these claims of The Dark Lord's return as a means to over-throw Fudge as Minister. In retaliation, a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is appointed by the Ministry in order to keep an eye on Hogwarts. This new teacher, Professor Umbridge, implies strict new teachings and rules, forcing a group of students, under the tutelage of Harry, to form a club, by the name of Dumbledore's Army.
Now for this review, I am going to assume that you have read the book. If you have not yet read the book, then stop reading this review right now! I will be spoiling the film and book for you.
I have no idea why they insist on making Harry Potter into a 2 hour film, the story is at the point where 3 to 3.5 hours is needed to tell his complete chapter. This is a good film but it could have been so much better and that's what is so frustrating about this film, What could have been.
Now let's talk about what went wrong with this film.
1. The aftermath of the Dementors attack. All we are shown in the film is the one letter sent by the ministry. We are not shown anything else. What was really missing was the fact that his Aunt Petunia knew what a dementor actually was. I just have a weird feeling that in the next book, this fact is going to be played out.
2. Harry's lack of anger at the beginning. The film never really lets him show just how alone he feels until the middle and the beginning of the film really suffers from it.
3. The reduction of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Dumbledore in this film. If you have read the book, this will make sense. I do not understand why they are slowly being written out of the film when they all pay huge roles in the next chapter.
4. Cho Chang. Now I have no idea why this was done in the film but, in the book Marietta Edgecombe is the one who betrays Dumbledore's Army, but the betrayal is instead committed by Cho in the film, effectively ending her relationship with Harry, but is later revealed to have been under the influence of Veritaserum while interrogated by Umbridge, dropping the whole hexed parchment storyline altogether. This made no sense at all and I thought really hurt the film.
5. Sirius Black. Now I have no idea why his role was reduced, but the two parts that did not be removed were his argument with Snape and his talk with Harry about what Harry saw during his Occlumency. Both of these events lead to Harry's total hatred of Snape. This becomes very important in the next chapter.
6. The total removal of the return of Rita Skeeter. This is where Harry tells all about what has happened to him and what really went down last year. It also omits "The Quibbler" With this removal, Harry's main school enemy ,Draco Malfoy, is reduced to a petty bully and this will really hurt the next chapter.
7. The reduction of Twin Weasley's escape scene, what could have been a lynch pin to a great scene and a much better movie, we are given a 1 minute show.
Now Lets talk about what went right with this movie
1. Luna Lovegood. I knew this was going to be a hard role to cast but Evanna Lynch pulls it off very nicely. She soon becomes the one person that can talk to Harry and at the same time becomes a voice of reason. This was a great choice.
2. Neville Longbottom. It was nice to see that they are allowing him to grow and to show that he is slowly overcoming his self doubt.
3. Umbridge. You will really believe that she is trying her best to blindly follow orders. I loved all of the cat plates that were in her office.
Now for the 3-D part of the Imax film that I saw.
You will be told when to put the glasses and when to take them off. I am glad that they put the last 15 minutes into 3-D IMAX, when you see Sirius being hit and falling into a mist like vapor, with the 3-D, it looked like a real passing into the next plane. When you see the battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort, in 3-D it was just like you had a ring side seat to a great boxing match. The end of the 3-D was the best when Harry finally figures out that he can love and Voldemort can't. Harry wins this round of the larger battle.
The end was way too short. I wish that it would have had a longer talk between Harry and Dumbledore. It seemed rushed and too short. It did not show Harry dealing with the loss of the only family that he had.
In the end we are left with a good film, if you have not read the book. If you have read the book, you are left wondering, "What could have been." All of the pieces for this film to be a great film was there for the taking and David Yates,the films director, wasted a golden opportunity and instead gives us HP 5, The Lite Version.