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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Finally, the Potter franchise grows a pair! This fifth installment in the very popular and very beige series of Rowling adaptations is admirably much darker in tone than its predecessors and it's ironic that it took a relatively unknown director (David Yates) to pull out the rabbit that has eluded his more affluent directorial peers.


Unfortunately this film is still plagued with the lapses in logic evident in the earlier films; for instance, the news that Harry is to be tried by the Ministry Of Magic for "performing a spell in the presence of a muggle" is paradoxically delivered via a magical talking envelope right there in front of his muggle adoptive parents! But at least this film is a lot more cohesive, departing from the established tradition of merely gathering everybody's favourite sequences from each respective book and throwing them onto the celluloid; and this one also has a kick-arse final battle to boot.

Performances are generally pretty good, especially Imelda Staunton as the sinister-in-pink Dolores Umbridge. Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham-Carter are staunchly in their element despite their tiny roles.

This is easily the best in the series, though admittedly the bar hasn't exactly been set high by its predecessors. This edition is however, worth a look.
Stuart Jamieson
www.harrypotter.warnerbros.com

Check out the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
reviews here

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