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January 2, 2006

-- Movie review --

Harry Potter's magic remains strong in Goblet of Fire

By Rachel Glogowski

The fourth film of the spellbinding series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is just as magical as the others, if not more. 

In the movie, members of two other wizardry schools stay at Hogwarts, which is the site of the Triwizard Tournament. 

One representative is chosen from each of the three schools to compete in the tournament, which consists of three highly dangerous tasks -- one of which has to do with, you guessed it, dragons.

But, as “fate” has it, the enchanted goblet selects Harry Potter’s name, despite the fact that he is too young and that he is the second person to be chosen from Hogwarts.

And so Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has no choice but to compete in the risky tasks.  (Ironically, he seems to have the most difficulty not in completing the challenges, but in finding a date for the Yule Ball.)

Although the movie has its humorous one-liners, young viewers might be frightened during parts of it. This film is certainly the most scary of the series.

The special effects in this movie rival those of the other films in the series. In particular, there is one breathtaking scene where Harry is riding his broomstick through the school grounds.

Although I enjoyed the movie, I did not see a big difference between this one and the first three.

It is your average good-versus-evil story. Sure, it has its twists and turns, but it is essentially Harry against Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his followers. And, once again, this plot has a underlying coming-of-age theme. 

But this movie was lacking in some respects.

Unlike the book, the film fails to explore the coming-of-age theme in depth. It leaves too many questions unanswered: such as what is to come of the relationships that are new to this particular story, including Hermione’s (Emma Watson) with a foreign student.  Obviously, it is difficult to cram all of the details of the fairly large book into a two-and-a-half hour movie, but perhaps the filmmakers could have done a bit of a better job in choosing what should and should not have gone into it.

Despite its small flaws, overall, I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Whether or not it is better than any one of the others in the series is up for debate.

But one thing is for sure: moviegoers of all ages will enjoy this enchanting film.

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