While there are sadly no more Lord of the Rings movies to be made (except maybe the Hobbit sometime in 2008) all that remains in the fantasy genre is Harry Potter. With the fourth film, The Goblet of Fire, the Harry Potter series turns serious, with more action, more violence and a deeper story.
What I tend to like about this series (as well as LOTR) is that ties together well for fans that have been following but also stands alone as a film for people who have been living on Mars and have never heard of Harry Potter.
Harry and his friends are now 14 and returning to Hogwarts to find the wizarding school is playing host to the Tri-Wizard Tournament. The Goblet of Fire is placed in the main hall at the begining of the movie for all students over 17 years old to enter the tournament where both all the glory as well as their lives are at stake. It is gaurded by an enchantment to make sure no one below 17 gets in. Lo and behold after it spits out the 3 names of the predictable participating students, a fourth piece of paper jumps from the goblet with Harry’s name on it. Hogwarts as well as Harry’s friends begins to turn against him accusing him of being a cheat. Not knowing who put his name in the goblet or how he was chosen, he is forced by Ministry of Magic rules to remain in the contest. Potter’s ultimate father figure and head master Dumbledore warns him “Dark and difficult times lie ahead”.
Meanwhile the infamous Death Eaters, followers of the evil Lord Voldemort are up to no good, and as usual there’s a new “defense against the dark arts” teacher: “Mad-Eye” Moody, a bit of a crazy type with a fake leg, facial scars and one eye that seems to have a mind of its own. Moody becomes Harry’s ‘mentor’ of sorts, helping him get through the brutal tests of the tournament.
The movie is packed with some great special effects and action scenes which never seem out of place, always serving some purpose. The three tournament tests alone are a movie unto themselves. What is interesting for book fans is seeing how the magic translates from written word to film. The movie is also loaded with very funny scenes here and there, good for people of all ages.
Lastly, probably the most interesting feature of this film that makes it stand out from the rest is Lord Voldemort. He’s taken on many shapes before but in this movie he becomes full “human” form. A slithery bald lizard of sorts played by Ralph Fiennes, finally coming face to face with his eternal enemy Harry Potter.
In the end this movie (as was the book) will be remembered as the middle-movie, the one where the story turned serious and as Hermione one of Harry’s best friends says “everything is going to change now isn’t it?”
You will enjoy this one
Bottom Line: 4/5