"Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix" is bad, in a good way

“Phoenix” is darker and much more mature compared to the other, more innocent movies in the series.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The wizarding community is in angst and the Ministry of Magic in disbelief over the return of "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named," a.k.a. Lord Voldemort.

Nobody is willing to prepare to fight the most dangerous wizard ever known. Because of this, Harry and his supporters must meet secretly to plan a defense strategy.

The secrecy spreads to school grounds where Harry teaches a group of students how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts. Magical creatures and spell-ridden fights are usual staples in the film. However, now we see Harry Potter as the confused, frustrated, determined and misunderstood boy who will have to battle off against Voldemort sooner than he thinks.

The movie made an estimated $77.4 million on opening weekend. It shows the evolution from the happy and family-friendly films of "The Sorcerer’s Stone" to the dangerous and life-threatening world that author J.K. Rowling depicts in the later books. With an older (and older looking) cast, audiences can appreciate the dramas of teenage crushes and personal pressures too–like that of Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) starting to show a more-than-just-friends interest in each other.

The special effects bring the dark imagery of the fifth book to life. In particular, gloomy montages of memories and nightmares show how Harry is being manipulated by Voldemort, making you feel what it’s like to be inside the boy’s head. As in any other Harry Potter movie the text from the fifth book is not followed verbatim, but this is certainly the most authentic film so far.

New characters like Dolores Umbridge, (Imelda Staunton) a dictator-like Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, let the hidden political agenda of unfairness and despotism, that even exists in a magical world, shine through.

Grown-up and with the series winding down, this latest Potter film has adult appeal. Good for tweens and up, it will help get your mindset ready for the last and much anticipated seventh book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, on sale July 21st.

About The Author

Bessie King is a Blast contributing editor. She can be reached at [email protected]

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