“You cant deny, Dumbledore’s got style” best line in the entire series!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix stars, Daniel Radcliffe (The Woman in Black, Horns), Rupert Grint (Delivering pizza on the weekends), Emma Watson (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah), Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow, Gosford Park) and is directed by Davis Yates (The Legend of Tarzan, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2).
Lord Voldemort has returned but no one believes Harry and Dumbledore. It’s the 5th year at Hogwarts and The Ministry of Magic are clamping down on the school, with their appointing of Dolores Umbridge and the power she is given. Meanwhile the presence of Voldemort hangs over Harry and effects his year at school.
When can you ever say the 5th film in a franchise, arguably is the best? Well Harry Potter did it with this one, Order of the Phoenix is in my top 3 of the franchise. David Yates joins the team, the action is upped and it ends with one of my favorite scenes in film history. Film after film, the HP series built upon the world Chris Columbus set up and Order of the Phoenix brought some fascinating new ideas to life.
Directors changed throughout the previous 4 films but from here on out it’s all David Yates. Although I liked all the directors before Yates, having these final films all done by the same guy, created a rhythm that made the next 4 films flow together. Again, I loved everyone else behind the camera but for me David Yates understands the Harry Potter universe more than anyone, except of course J. K. Rowling. He put together some spectacular sequences, one in particular in this film, that are ingrained in my head as the iconic moments from the series.
I brought it up in The Goblet of Fire review and I mentioning it again, the opening scenes/acts of the Harry Potter films are the best. The Dementor attack, leading into Harry’s trial is the perfect way to kick off a film. The attack is terrifying and set the stage that these films aren’t going to be as happy. No cute elves, blowing up aunts, or night bus rides. It starts on a very dark note, then moves on to Dumbledore being a complete badass at Harry’s trial. As far as Dumbledore goes, this is his best film that shows how wiser, cooler and more powerful he is compared to everyone else. Also, scrap Fantastic Beast, I want an update on Mrs Figg .
Villains are very important to a Harry Potter film. Whether it’s “Stuttering Professor Quirrell” or a Basilisk, Harry needs a foe to go up against. I think he meets his most evil opponent yet in Order of the Phoenix, Dolores Umbridge (excluding Voldemort of course). This woman is pure evil. She’s mean, vicious but so much fun to hate. The whole film you’re waiting for her to finally get her comeuppance and when she does it’s glorious. Another evil bitch, debuting is Bellatrix Lestrange. I don’t know what she was on during this film but boy, is Helena Bonham Carter crazy as Bellatrix. She is great in this series and I’m saying this in every review but we don’t get to see enough of her throughout the films.
With Hogwarts becoming less and less safe and with Umbridge teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, Harry steps up to teach secret lessons and form Dumbledore’s Army. These are the coolest scenes. First of all the Room of Requirement… genius J.K. Rowling… genius. Watching Harry teach his friends in a Rocky training montage (minus Survivor) is so much fun and also adds to the believability of what happens at the school in future films. This is however where my one complaint in this film comes in. I like the little hints toward Ron and Hermione’s romance but the other one, not so much.
Cho Chang and Harry’s relationship, I’ve never liked. Katie Leung who plays Cho, I find really dull and she and Daniel Radcliffe have zero chemistry. They give you the set up for it in The Goblet of Fire but then the romance comes and goes in the next film, really quickly. It’s only a small gripe, it doesn’t take away anything from the film to me. Plus it did give us the “Emotional range of a teaspoon.” scene, which is one of my favorite moments from the series.
I’ve saved the very best till last. If you haven’t seen The Order of the Phoenix, I’m going to discuss the finale so spoilers ahead!
What I always thought was missing from the HP films, is an awesome duel that showed the true potential of what wizards can do. Well… we get the most badass duel ever put to screen between Dumbledore and Voldemort! OMG, I love this scene so much. The two greatest wizards of all time throwing down, in a crazy fight with fire snakes, fire balls, shattered glass, a water ball, Voldemort’s yells and demonic laugh. Then Voldemort possess Harry, in one of the most powerful scenes and superbly acted by Radcliffe. This entire sequence is beautifully shot and masterfully crafted, thank you David Yates. I’m hoping we see more epic duels between really strong wizards in Fantastic Beasts later this year, that can also showcase the unlimited and creative powers of magic.
For that 3rd act fight alone I love this film but with everything else on top, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix is just amazing. I can’t stop thinking about Voldemort vs Dumbledore, halfway through writing that last paragraph I watched it 3 times on YouTube, so good.
Have you seen Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and what did you think about it?