Main cast: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Michael Gambon (Prof Albus Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), Brendan Gleeson (Alastor “Madeye” Moody), Tom Felton(Draco Malfoy), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory), Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Krum), Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour), and Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort)
Director: Mike Newell
There are plenty of spoilers in this review because I don’t think it’s possible to rip this movie to pieces without delving into them. You know what to do.
I don’t know what Steve Kloves does to keep getting a job writing the script for Harry Potter movies. His scripts aren’t movies as much as they are scenes from the book put together without any coherence or context. Anyone who hasn’t read the book of the same name will come off from watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire thinking that something must be really wrong with people today if this crappy movie is the fourth in a successful franchise. It takes a very good director to handle Steve Kloves’s horrifically inept script to make the movie work and Mike Newell isn’t that director.
Like Harry Potter in the movie undergoing one of the most awkward phases of adolescence around, this movie is hideously awkward, a lumbering troll of incoherence and ridiculously huge plot holes. Daniel Radcliffe, Ron Weasley, Emma Watson, and nearly all the cast are slathered with ridiculous amount of make-up to the point that poor dear Mr Radcliffe and Mr Pattinson with their thick pancake-like foundation and red, red lipsticks come off looking like animated clay models barely resembling human beings. Perhaps the make-up gun is set to the level of ho in order to hide the acne outbreaks of the young cast?
This time around, Harry Potter returns to the most dangerous school in the world, the We-Don’t-Give-a-Hogwart-about-You School of Magic, where it’s time for the Triwizard Tournament. Pupils from three schools take part. One is from an all-male Bulgarian magic school – I think the school is called We Magyar You – while the other is a French school of young ladies who dance around to the music of We Like You to Imagine That We are All French Young Lesbians as they twitter to the co-ed Hogwart school. By the way, gotta love how those French lesbian ladies and their overgrown dominatrix headmistress can cram themselves into a flying carriage. The most talented magic-user from each school will be chosen to take part in what Prof Idiot Dumbledore calls a test that can be fatal to those kiddies. From the French School of Lipstick and Sappho, Fleur Delacour is chosen. She will be ignored for the rest of the movie because the audience, composed of kids who don’t know better, teenage girls who care only to see Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy liplock, and pedophiles lured into the cinema to see Harry Potter’s hairy nipples as he is assaulted in a bath by their ghostly counterpart, all don’t care to see her in her grey bikini glory. From the Bulgarian School of Barbarians, the square-jawed Viktor Krum is chosen. Were not for his lipstick, the quiet hunk will qualify as the only genuine male specimen on this show. Cedric Diggory is Hogwart School of Liability’s candidate and the future recipient of Harry Potter’s adolescent adoration in fanfictions of a thousand Livejournal teenage girls all over the Web. Because we don’t want the foreigners to win and tarnish Glory be Ye Great Britain, someone cheats and lets Harry Potter take part as well.
Don’t worry if Harry Potter is not qualified enough to survive the tournament. As befit the grand tradition of British school systems, Idiot Dumbledore and Halfwit Hagrid, among others, will all bend the rules to show Harry some useful pointers to win. Hermione and friends will work day and night to come up with advice and tips to keep Harry going while all Harry does is to stand there with a vacant expression and dream of a female classmate. You can bet the classmate will die a painful death in future fanfictions written by vengeful little girls. Oh, and Harry wins despite not doing anything. Even at the end, when he and Lord Voldemort battle in a literal magical pissing contest to see who has the bigger and longer wand, Harry is saved by the ghosts of some people in his past. But that’s the pattern of Harry Potter’s “adventures” since day one, isn’t it?
Along the way, there are plenty of plot holes to boggle the mind as to how mentally stunted the people behind the movie must be. Here are some examples that I care to remember:
- Hogwart-the-Hell does not permit teachers to change pupils into cute white ferrets to teach them a lesson, but they are more than happy to use Harry Potter as bait or sacrifice Fleur’s sister for a particularly stupid test,
- Hogwart-the-Hell allows the students to watch as a dragon tries to rip the Triwizard Tournament participants to piece,s but they scream and drive the students away when someone dies during the Tournament. And then act as if nobody has ever died before so This Is a Very Terrible Thing That We Never Anticipated When We Put a Kid in the Same Ring as an Angry and Hungry Dragon.
- Idiot Dumbledore once again barges in to save Harry at the end when there is no clue as to how Idiot here knows that Harry is in danger.
- The events in the last fifteen minutes of the movie happen so fast and incoherently that people who haven’t read the book will most likely be wondering what is going on.
And then there are classic very stupid moments to savor, such as Lord Voldemort spending so long blabbing about killing Harry Potter only to whip out a puny wand and lose to Harry Potter. What a laughably inept loser.
The movie has stupid moments galore that has me suspecting that it is dumbing itself down for very young kiddies. It also has uncomfortably cringe-inducing scenes of Harry Potter being treated as a sex object, made especially so when poor Mr Radcliffe looks more and more like a terrified stick insect as the movie progresses. The young man still has no chemistry or acting ability that extends outside his pout and blank expression, which is unfortunate considering that in this movie he gets nearly all the screentime at the expense of his more talented co-stars. The movie’s schizophrenic attempts to keep the movie kids-friendly while making the pedophiles happy aside, it still suffers from a clumsily executed and rushed denouement, a painfully slow middle portion where Mr Radcliffe tries to act only to flop around like a beached whale in the process, and of course, the huge plot holes in the script. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire would have been the worst movie in this franchise were not for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets being even more wretched and insipid. This movie isn’t a movie as much as a buffoonish attempt at fan service for Livejournal slashers and all those perverts who share shirtless photos of Daniel Radcliffe for their mutual enjoyment. Avoid like plague unless you’re very easily entertained.