Goblet of Fire is the sort of middle chapter in the Harry Potter series and also the movie where they forgot to hire barbers for the cast. That’s a bit of a lame joke that I’ve heard people make, but they’re not wrong since it seems like every character in this movie has such long hair for some reason and it’s slightly annoying and distracting. Anyways, this is the first of the series that I actually got to see in theatres, so it had a different kind of effect on me than the previous three had since it was a significant memory of mine. Movies that I really liked as a kid have always been strong memories for me like Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and others, so my previous feelings for this movie were a bit stronger than the others. I remember really liking it because it brought us a tournament of champions where we got to see new students from different schools and got to see Harry compete in different challenges. Hell it even had dragons, but now it was time to rewatch this movie and see if my enjoyment of this one still held up the same as it did when I was younger.
First off, I really noticed the director change the most. While I wasn’t as fond of the previous film as most people seem to be, Curon’s style was certainly more pleasing to look at than this movie. This might be the worst directed movie of the whole series and is definitely the worst one so far. I’m not sure what it is that feels so off about it, or what the biggest issue is, but I just don’t like how many of the scenes in this movie were shot and the pacing is a little iffy also. Aside from the first challenge against the dragon which we only get to see Harry compete in, (what a shame, it would’ve been nice to at least see glimpses of the other contenders) it really doesn’t have a great pace or feel until we get to the start of the second challenge. I will say that all three challenges were very well done as far as CGI goes, but the final one in the maze was a bit lackluster. I understand that the whole point was just for Harry to get to the cup and teleported to the graveyard, but thinking about the actual challenge for a minute, it really isn’t that exciting and should’ve been fleshed out a bit more.
Outside of the challenges, there is an overarching story that is much stronger and more interesting than everything else going on. We learn more about “Death Eaters” who were followers of Voldmort. We get a lot of info regarding this like who some of the followers were, some of which were familiar faces like Malfoy’s father and even Snape. (turns out he was actually a spy though) All of this comes into play later on when the twist is revealed as to who exactly had infiltrated Hogwarts and caused everything to happen. It was played out pretty well and all of the info was presented at the right times, and helped push the overarching series story along. We finally get to the most important part of this movie which is Harry being led to the graveyard to be part of the resurrection of Voldemort. This is really the only significant thing about this movie, because it ends as a launchpad for the setup of the rest of the movies to follow. It is also the best part of the movie for me as we finally get to see an exciting and epic face off between Harry and Voldemort. The actual look of how the spells react to each other like energy blasts from two Dragon Ball Z characters is what get me so excited for the next movies. The characters are more mature and the action level is starting to pick up so hopefully we would be seeing some cooler spells and moments like this.
The biggest downside in this movie would be the characters. There a lot of pointless decisions made in this movie for our main characters like how Ron is all mad at Harry after his name came out of the goblet. It just doesn’t make sense why Ron would be mad when even he knows as Harry’s best friend that he wouldn’t go and do that, but they had to have some kind of disruption between the two. Also they really make it a point to cause a rift between them and Hermione for no real reason. I can see why they did it, clearly it was to get a rise out of Ron who is very much in love with her, but he doesn’t want to admit it, but it just doesn’t work. Both of these two issues are brought up and then gotten rid of without even allowing time for the experiment to really work. If they were going to di it than they should have at least focused on it and made it prominent through the whole film, but the storylines they take these characters through in this movie are all over the place with no consistency. I did like the inclusion of Robert Pattinson as Cedric, although he was a bit underused and I wish we got more interaction with him. And getting to see the different students from the different schools was pretty cool and makes me want to see more about where they came from and what their schools are like in comparison. If there was ever a series made on streaming maybe they could look into that.
There’s a lot to like in this movie because of everything going on with the main Voldemort plotline or the Triwizard tournament, but it’s all muddled and barely held together by the misuse of the characters and side stories. The direction is really the biggest issue here and probably the writing as well. Like I’ve been saying for all of these reviews, I don’t know how close these movies are to the books but I have a feeling the book is probably much better written than this movie was. It took time to explore the bigger world with the ministry, the Death Eaters, the different schools, and even the pro world of Quidditch. There’s a lot to keep you interested in and wanting more, but that’s also an issue. He gives you a lot of what you want, but doesn’t give you enough or leads you on just to take it away from you. What really makes this movie, are the events that happen following Harry’s trip to the graveyard. It’s an emotional moment with our first real character death in Cedric and certainly puts a mood over the future going forward for Harry.
It wasn’t as good as I remember it being when I first watched it in theaters, but it still has its redeeming moments. There’s a lot that I really enjoyed about this movie, but the directing, writing, and editing really standout the most in this movie by being the worst so far. There are a lot of scenes that are jarringly bad how they were shot or edited together and it really is disappointing because I feel like there could be a good movie in here somewhere with some better direction. It’s a bit of a dip for the series, but does enough for the future to look bright going into the next film. The best thing it does is end on a up tempo momentum to get excited for.