The second Harry Potter film released in 2002.< read all 18 reviews
Acting: By and large, dreadful - as you would expect from twelve year olds, but very disappointing from the support cast of adult, eminence grises of the British acting establishment.
Coherence: poor - no one can blame Colombus for being unimaginative in his transfer of the book to the screen (to do otherwise would be to be crucified by a lynch mob of 9 year olds), but the transfer at least needs to make sense. This does not. Much of the plot was explained retrospectively by helpful, heavy-handed soliloquy, and even then wasn't awfully clear. And that's to someone who's read the book.
Dramatic tension: non-existent - The final showdown, which should have been edge of seat-gripping stuff, was simply dull: We have no empathy for Harry, no sense of who the villain really is (can't Voldemort do better than manifest himself in a hologram of an effete 16 year old?), what is at stake, why Ron Weasly's sister is there, and what the point of the Phoenix is (other than as a pretty ... plot device to dig Harry out of a sticky situation. Rowling's books are real page-turning Ripping Yarns, which are why they've sold so well. Colombus failed totally to import this onto this second film (the first was much better).
Finally - and this is partly Rowling's fault, as she wrote the books this way - it's terribly formulaic, and in execution is derivative of a number of other classic B-grade movies (ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars amongst them).
Not destined for great things come Oscar time, methinks.
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