Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Inexplicable Movie Review: Harry Potter and The Order of the Over-Stuffed Phoenix

Continuing on with my power rankings of films that are almost a decade old…

One issue that seemingly compounds with the later Harry Potter films is a sort of lack of focus on the characters that are actually appealing and interesting. By this, let me clarify what I mean: Dumbledore kind of sucks.

Now, he’s a necessary character, in that he serves as a sort of a surrogate character for Harry. However, when it comes to my own enjoyment, as a movie watcher I’ve seen the Dumbledore-Harry relationship in about Every Other Movie Ever. I don’t want to list all of the movies, because that would inadvertently spoil some of their aspects, but there are plenty that feature an older, sagely “protector” with the young learner. Some might say the young padawan.

By itself, this isn’t bad. I mean, it’s not like Danny Radcliffe or Michael Gambon are horrible actors. And to not pick solely on Dumbledore here, plenty of the lore and Teenage Angst could have been trimmed as well. However, every moment of screen time with them takes away from stuff I find wayyyy more intriguing, and by that, I mean Luna Lovegood.

Luna steals just about every scene she’s in, which is awesome, except that she’s relegated to about three scenes in Order of the Phoenix. Likewise, there is some female member of the Order that can shapeshift and seems bad ass, and I don’t even think we’ve learned her name by the end of The Half-Blood Prince. Other folks I’d like to see more about: Draco (he’s kind of sidelined until movie 6), Ginny, even Ron and Hermoine are just kind of along for the ride in some of these movies.

I’m positive that some of this information is more detailed in the books, but I can’t help but approach these later flicks with something of a reporter’s mind. Pretty much all of the films are well over two hours, but too much of each film feels like fluff to vault it into my personal Best Series Ever. (I admit that plenty of this is probably sentimental; if I saw Harry Potter at 10 instead of Star Wars, maybe they would flip-flop in my mind.)

I don’t think it’s a problem unique to this series, though. Bloat has kind of spread to pretty much every significant summer movie and movie franchise, and stuff like Making A Murderer. I wouldn’t mind some more editing going on with pretty much all of this content. I need that time to do other valuable things, like beating Final Fantasy VII for the fifth time.

Anyyywaayyy. After kind of crapping on this movie and this series, I’d like to note that through the first five, it’s my second favorite. While it definitely plods along at times, it’s not actively bad or anything. It’s just an average fantasy flick about witches and wizards fightin’ Voldemorte. Although, oddly, there aren’t any actual phoenixes in this movie, which is odd, since one was a major plot point in a previous movie.

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