Harry Potter 5 – The Order of The Phoenix [*****]

For the record – I haven’t read the book. In fact, although I am a major fan of all the movies thus far – I’ve only read the Goblet of Fire. See, the reason is – every movie adaptation of a book, even the Harry Potter stories, is just that – an adaptation. Stories are cut, modified, and introduced to serve the silver-screen based universe. If I read the book and really enjoy a part that is cut from the movie – it might just skew my opinion of the picture all together and I like to be as objective as possible.

All that said, Harry Potter 5 – The Order of The Phoenix – was a knockout. Picking up where the Goblet of Fire left off, we find Hogwarts in turmoil, Harry Potter hating his relatives, and Voldemort on the loose. The Ministry of Magic is in flat out denial of the truth – that ‘you know who’ is back and is responsible for the death of Cedric Diggory. Trust me folks, expect to spend much of this experience aggravated beyond words. This is on purpose of course, as we get to deal with Dolores Umbridge, the grand inquisitor of the Ministry who is in charge of maintaining the coverup.

Plenty of humor and good times are to be had though. Don’t expect any Quidditch or even much give and take between Potter and Malfoy – as the story here is the rise of Voldemort and the Order of The Phoenix which is tasked with fighting him. Potter and his usual cohorts also join together to train themselves in the dark arts when Umbridge simply tries to convince them all that evil doesn’t exist.

Probably the grandest and yet the darkest of the movie series. All the performances as expected are top notch and likely give any producer of a failed trilogy heartburn as they see that this series – 5 of which have been completed thus far – has no intention of slowing down before the author has penned the final novel. That’s the beauty of this series – for young or old – the stories are rock solid, the effects are just right, it is a perfect shining example of what can be done when QUALITY is put before QUANTITY. Hollywood could learn something from JK Rowling. Not sure they will.

Check it out, with 350 million in global box office sales since its release a few days ago, I doubt it will leave theaters for a few weeks.

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