Flashback Review: Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

After “Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban” came out in 2004, Warner Bros. (WB) commenced development of a fifth installment titled, “Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire.” This time, somebody forged Harry”s name to enlist him in a dangerous tournament competing with three selected students each from a separate school. To prepare for three hazardous tasks, Harry is guided by his close friends Ron and Hermione, his mentor Dumbledore & a recently hired teacher named, Mad-Eye Moody who knows a thing or two about dark magic.

Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire was released in 2005. (same year Batman Begins came out) It received positive reviews from critics, movie goers and fans alike. In addition to good reception, it made enough money at the box office becoming the highest grossing film of 2005. As we all know, “The Order Of The Phoenix” takes place after the events of The Goblet Of Fire. J.K. Rowling published “The Half-Blood Prince” in 2005.

The Goblet Of Fire is my last Flashback Review. It doesn’t mean I’m done writing about throwback reviews of movies I grew up during childhood. It means I have matured just like Harry, Ron and Hermione going through dark times just like the books/movies changing the tone alongside young movie goers/book readers growing up.

A third installment of “Fantastic Beasts” is slated to come out in 2021, which is the 20th anniversary of “The Sorcerer’s Stone.” As a lifelong Harry Potter fan, I would like to share the fourth chapter’s strengths and weaknesses.

Today’s review doesn’t contain no crucial SPOILERS linked to the plot. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.

Magical & Fake Qualities

Magical: The Main Cast including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint & Emma Watson reprise their roles and they all did an excellent job for their respective performances. It’s about time Dan took some serious acting lessons at The Lee Strasberg Institute. Perhaps Christian Bale taught him the craft of method acting. I didn’t like Dan’s delivery in Prisoner Of Azkaban, because he acted whiny like Hayden Christensen. Dan & Christian might’ve crossed paths while at WB during tables reads for “Batman Begins” & Goblet Of Fire.

Supporting Cast also reprise their roles and they did a great job for their respective performances. Except Michael Gambon acting like Cookie Monster singing “MacArthur Pack.”

Newcomers to the franchise such as Brendan Gleeson, Miranda Richardson & David Tennant all did a decent job for their respective performances.

Chemistry between Harry and his friends felt authentic. This time, their friendship is in a rocky phase. As Hermione & Ron are concerned about Harry’s safety.

Mike Newell did a better job in the director’s chair than Alfonzo Cuarón. I didn’t like The Prisoner Of Azkaban. If you want to know why I disliked the third movie/book, check out my full spoiler review.

Action Sequences were spectacular. Each one linked to The Tri Wizard Tournament got my blood pumping for more dangerous obstacles.

Special Effects are drastically improved. A mixture of Computer Animation & Practical Effects felt authentic.

The Tone for the fourth installment of the series is darker than the last four movies. As the lead characters grow, so does the audience who first went to see Sorcerer’s Stone.

The Tri Wizard Tournament serves as an important plot element for Harry, unaware that his name was forged into The Goblet.

Mad-Eye Moody factors in as a prominent character similar to previous dark arts teachers Quirrell, Gilderoy Lockhart and last but not least, Remus Lupin.

Upon looking back at The Goblet Of Fire, I’ve noticed some hidden pop culture references. Bear with me, some are coincidental. I also did a drinking game every time a hidden pop culture reference shows up, a take a sip. Make sure you drink responsibly. I do not condone alcohol poisoning.

Harry competes with three students in The Tri Wizard Tournament, reminded me of “Fantastic Four.” It’s the closest thing to see a dignified film adaptation. Cedric, Viktor and Fleur are loosely based on Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Ben Grimm/The Thing and Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman. Harry also takes the role as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, who’s the youngest member of the team.

Speaking of Fantastic Four, Harry wears his Invisibility Cloak, as in The Invisible Woman, accept she can turn invisible anytime she wants.

A girl ghost is similar to Samara from “The Ring.” The second film came out in 2005.

Mad-Eye Moody tells his students about dark magic just like Palpatine told Anakin about Darth Plageuis in “Revenge Of The Sith.”

One scene depicts a trial. “The Exorcism Of Emily Rose” also had a trial about a man accused of a crime.

A man investigating a creepy house alludes to “The Skeleton Key” and “House Of Wax.” Both take place in a creepy home/mansion.

One of the main characters shows an attractive side paying homage to “Miss Congeniality.”

A character named Junior is tied to a political figure as in Roark Junior linked to Senator Roark from “Sin City.”

People who are under attack after a sports game by a group of terrorists, mirrors Steven Spielberg’s “Munich.” A historical drama based on true events.

A short stacked man attempts to go on a date. Maybe a reference to Kevin James trying to date a girl from “Hitch?”

The Weasleys run away from danger like Tom Cruise and his onscreen family from “War Of The Worlds” lacking Dakota Fanning & Justin Chatwin.

Rita Skeeter reminded me of Jiminy Glick. A journalist portrayed by Martin Short. Rita on the other hand is a precursor to TMZ.

A plot twist mirrors a similar twist as a mixture of “Batman Begins,” and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit.” I would assume Christopher & Jonathan Nolan did some uncredited rewriting as script doctors. Both of em’ are fans of Harry Potter.

When Harry enters the arena during the first trial. It pay homage to “Gladiator” when Maximus enters the arena. I guess Ridley Scott skyped The Cast & Crew for tips to endure intense action scenes. Ridley was busy working on “Kingdom Of Heaven.” He probably took a lunch break sending a copy of Gladiator for everybody to get into the phase.

A symbol in the sky lights up. Kinda like The Bat Signal.

Harry acquires gills for a limited time. “Sharkboy & Lavagirl” also had a lead character with gills.

The Death Eaters symbol is a skull with a snake. Coincidentally, a skull is a symbol for Skull Island from “King Kong.”

Harry’s battle with an evil wizard mirrors Gohan & Cell’s battle from “Dragon Ball Z.”

An antagonist is like a cross between Lex Luthor & Emperor Palpatine.

The final task involves a maze. The second season of “Code Lyoko” also had a dangerous maze known as “Sector V.” Aelita (the main protagonist) is kinda similar to Harry in terms of a tragic past. Both Harry & Aelita are inspired by Superman.

The Ending sets up the next chapter known as, The Order Of The Phoenix.

Fake: Remember what I said about Michael Gambon acting like Cookie Monster singing “MacArthur Park?” He shouts at Harry if he enlisted for The Tri Wizard Tournament. In the book, Dumbledore questioned Harry in a soft spoken tone. Unlike the book, he shouts at him as if he’s auditioning as the lead singer of Mastodon. Damn you Alfonzo Cuaron! I will never forgive you!

I swear to god fellow Potter fans, I’m not making this up. A dance lesson is added to the film. It was never written in the book. I didn’t think it was necessary for McGonagall like she’s Will Smith in “Hitch.” To put salt in the wound, some of the students (also the teachers) dance at the ball. It gets worse, a punk rock band shows up randomly. In the last Potter movies, we saw Harry’s parents murdered, big ass spiders, a giant snake, soul sucking dementors. What do we get to up the ante? A pointless dance lesson leading up to a ballroom. EGADS! This predates stupid dance scenes from “Spider-Man 3” and “Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer!” Poorly Written Random Dance Numbers irritate me!

The Final Verdict: B, FOR BLOODY BRILLIANT!

Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire is an improvement of The Prisoner Of Azkaban. All the good stuff I’ve listed as magical, indicates why the fourth film/book totally redeemed the series. If you’re a huge fan of Harry Potter like me, I highly recommend The Goblet Of Fire.

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