Last night I got the chance to see the newest movie in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, which as my title states just missed.
The book, has to be perhaps my favorite of the books. Here J.K. Rowling mixes some very dark and mature things into what had been pretty much a young adult tale up to this point (it did start at the end of book 4). The movie was sadly a watered down, plot only version of this book, which did nothing for the audience except make you feel apathy for the main characters.
Don’t get me wrong, the acting was top notch, there was not a single weak actor in the movie. But that alone, couldn’t save the movie. Since it was plot only, they needed to add just a couple of more scenes in to make all the connections.
1) They needed to add the scene with Neville visiting his parents in the hosptial, that I think was a major scene in the book and gives us (and Neville) better understanding of what the gang is up against.
2) They needed to make the family connections with Sirius Black, his relations to the Malfoy’s and that Bellatrix LeStrange is his cousin. Bellatrix was played by Helena Bonham Carter, who is perfect for the role.
3) The needed to make the scene where Harry looks into Snape’s mind longer to get the full effect. The also needed to make more of the prophecy in the Department of Mysteries and also slow down the end battle, as I remember it in the book being a slow blow by blow account. The movie just whizzed through it.
4) They failed to clearly show Umbridge’s hatred of half-breeds. Thus when she is carried off by the Centaur’s, it makes no sense.
5) They had Kreature in 2 scenes and do nothing with him. It was pointless.
Like I said, the acting was top notch and the special effects great. But there was no tension, there was no fear. There was no build up to the confrontation in the Department of Mysteries. Fans of the book will easily be able to fill in the blanks, but those who only know the movie will get a very different view. Sure the plot is the same and they stayed true to it, but the movie had too many loose ends and I left unsatisfied. Perhaps there will be an extended cut on DVD which may help to improve these issues, but I think they should take there time, even at the expense of a longer movie, as I think fans of the books will be far more appreciative of the movie.