Length: 138 minutes
Release Date: July 11, 2007
Directed by: David Yates
Genre: Adventure / Family / Fantasy
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is the fifth installment in the Harry Potter film series based on the popular novels by J. K. Rowling. The film chronicles the adventures of Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson) and all of their friends as they continue to fight against the return of the Dark Lord, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). In “Order of the Phoenix,” viewers get to see the three main characters really grow up and understand the sacrifice necessary for them to combat the forces of darkness threatening to tear their world apart. The worlds of the wizards and muggles begin to overlap, although very few people in the wizarding world believe that Voldemort has returned.
For “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” David Yates stepped in as director, bringing more of a horror movie feel to the film. The movie maintains some of the fun of the previous films, with entertaining flirtations between Ron and Hermione and comic interludes between other characters. Gone is the Harry with the little-boy grin who is delighted at nearly everything in his new world. In his place, Yates elicits a more serious Harry, one who is willing to step up and take on the forces of darkness, even without the comfort of other’s belief in him. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg works well with Yates to pare down the nearly 900 pages of the novel to make “Order of the Phoenix” easier to digest by movie-going audiences who may not have read the book. Despite the family-friendly nature of the majority of the Harry Potter franchise, Yates and Goldenberg team up to make “Order of the Phoenix” a commentary on political power, authoritarianism and conspiracies.
In this film, Harry goes from being the savior of the wizarding world to a social outcast. Every action is scrutinized by the media and those in power for the slightest hint of wrongdoing. Even his strongest supporters, including Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), begin to keep their distance. The physical distance in this film between Harry and the other characters is very apparent to the young hero. This occurs not because the other characters don’t believe in Harry anymore, but because he’s too famous. Harry is sought after by Voldemort and too carefully watched by everyone else to be of much use to his friends in the ongoing battle. Rather than being their savior, Harry has to be protected as a secret weapon only to be brought out when absolutely necessary. As Harry starts to feel more like a pawn, he begins to act out and make more decisions for himself as he searches for a way that he can help to defeat Voldemort. Audiences are treated to the opportunity to watch Harry as he struggles to grow from a boy to a man who becomes the savior of worlds right before their eyes. This is the first Harry Potter film where the consequences of war are felt by both the characters and the audience, despite the death of Cedric Diggory at the end of the previous film. In “Order of the Phoenix,” Harry is forced to witness the death of someone close to him. He has to learn to deal with the effects of that death and the realization that no one near him is safe from Voldemort’s wrath. The emotional turmoil in the film is accurately portrayed by the cast and is brought to life through the use of gorgeous sets, excellent cinematography and state-of-the-art visual effects.
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is a satisfying follow-up to the previous films. It remains family friendly enough to be engaging for younger audiences and has enough plot layers to entertain older viewers. The film doesn’t skimp on the dramatic CGI effects that are also heavily utilized in the other films in the series. Despite having a change in director and screenwriter from the previous film, “Order of the Phoenix” holds its place well and does not feel like a stand-alone film. The production staff maintains the feel and look of the previous Harry Potter films while remaining as authentic to the novel as possible within the time constraints of a feature film. “Order of the Phoenix” is a worthy addition to the Harry Potter franchise. As the fifth film, it has the unenviable task of being both a sequel and a lead-in to the next movie in the series. This is something that it accomplishes effortlessly, without weighing audiences down with too many plot twists or too much information. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is an enjoyable adventure for both fans of the books and those of the previous films.
It’s a Giveaway!! Enter Here For a Chance to Win X-Men and the Wolverine Bluray Collection