For the very first time, we have a Harry Potter film that isn’t a mixed piece. Different from the films before it, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix focuses heavily on Harry. In making the film, David Yates claimed his aim was to make it principally about Harry’s thoughts. He executes that, but overly takes it that he does the same to the movie’s damage.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film is, more than any others, sort of an everlastingly dark-colored, saddening world. We see Harry right from the outset hiding in it, developed into an anxious, angry, and hormonal teenager who appears to burst out at anyone and everyone, whether or not he means it. As it happens in each of these movies, the mystical dark lord Voldemort has come back and continues to torture Harry. This time, he seems to have chosen to execute it through the Wizard media. The new Wizard government has agreed that Voldemort simply doesn’t exist, and that for the past few years, Harry has lied about the whole thing. He’s criticized in the newspapers and manipulated as a political tool, which only uses to drive Harry’s newfound teen hardship even harder.
Ultimately, Harry returns to the secretive school of Hogwarts where he’s to bear another year of instruction. Until then there’s a lot of hassling around and talking urgently, but nothing really appears to happen. The pace doesn’t pick up once he’s at school either, as the movie adapts the now eternally grouchy Harry through an useless complex political story which finally results in the takeover of the school by a new headmistress who can only be depicted as a evil and twisted sadist. She shortly starts sucking the life out of Hogwarts, and all the excitement of the preceding films disappears in favor of a bitchy, unpleasant Harry and an uncivilized, nonchalant, depressing school full of mindless, put upon drones.
Most upsetting about Order of the Phoenix is how poorly made it is as a movie. Harry is the central character here, with everyone else relegated to emphasize better Harry Potter image, but he doesn’t appear to have any particular character arc. It takes a long time for the movie to get there, but ultimately some things occur. But you never get the sense that they’ve really had much of an effect on him. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film is almost incredibly hard to follow for anyone who hasn’t read, studied, and memorized every page of the Harry Potter novels. Minor characters and names are thrown in the viewers’ face with complete neglect, as if the producers expects us to know the life story of that girl from scene 24 whose name was only mentioned one time two years ago. The Potter movies have always on the edge of catering too immensely to the fans of the books, and they’ve often suffered because of it. Books and movies are different aspects, and the Harry Potter hasn’t always acknowledged that. However this is the first to entirely abandon all pretense of being a good film, and instead goes straight for lousy, vague, fan pandering. Anyone who isn’t obsesses with Potter will be completely lost, and though the series’ hardcore fans will undoubtedly adore it, it’s a pretty blatant film.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie really turns into a mess when it attempts to take its characters into different settings. It jumps around almost with no consideration to make out how on Earth any of Order of the Phoenix movie’s characters got there. When they ride brooms, you never actually witness them land at certain places. Instead the movie cuts short, and then as if they’re in some sort of poor 70s sitcom they surprisingly walk out of the bushes and greet the passers by. When Harry and his peers suddenly appear in a snowy, isolated village miles away from Hogwarts, you guess that perhaps they might have taken a broom. But later, they’re suddenly unable to find a way to get to another location. Well how on Earth did you get everywhere else? You Wizards, right? Why not hopping on one of those magical brooms lying around all over the place? It’s as if the children go here and there when it’s convenient for the script, and are unable to find transportation when the movie’s looking for an excuse to have them ride scary looking zombie as they might seem kind of cool. Order of the Phoenix throws out ideas and places as if we entirely know what’s happening before it does, with paying no concern to any of the audiences who are just there to watch a film without engaging in a pre-viewing research project using a stack of J.K. Rowling’s novels.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix acts as a depressing step backward for the genre. Harry Potter newbie David Yates has sucked the life out of the room and his characters. The plot just doesn’t work if you haven’t got a Cliff’s Notes version of the novels with you. Also missing along with coherent plot advancement are any of those really making moments we’ve gotten in the others. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had that amazing character moment where Hermione punches Malfoy’s lights out. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had the gloriously made, amazingly sweet and awkward school dance. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has nothing on it, preferring instead to live in a bland, droning world. Fortunately for him, although the movie itself is something similar to a catastrophe it also has the greatest performances we’ve seen in the series so far. Radcliffe’s Potter may be kind of a pain, but he’s talented at playing it and does a good job of carrying the weight on his shoulders. It’s just a pity that the franchise had to get so bland, lazy, and boring in order to get this kind of work out of him.