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<Movie Details
Review
30 January 2008

Mike Newell proves that the British know best as he breathes new life into the Harry Potter brand.

Perhaps best known for directing Four Weddings And A Funeral, he handles the action admirably, somehow managing to bring the series into an exciting new era.

Potter fans are treated to a whole host of familiar goodies from the Quidditch World Cup, to the return of loveable Hagrid (Coltrane) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), yet the central focus is the long-awaited Triwizard Tournament.

The students at Hogwarts are joined by les girls from Beauxbatons Academy and ze boys of Durmstrang Institute as their champions are chosen.

The competitors must fight a fire-breathing dragon, dive into the depths of the great lake and explore a maze where nothing is what it seems...

Although still a family movie, The Goblet of Fire is aimed at an older audience and Newell is permitted to go further than his predecessors.

It is refreshing to see the characters trade childhood innocence for a more knowing adolescence and the interaction between Harry  (Radcliffe) and Cho Chang (newcomer Katie Leung) is particularly endearing.

This is also the most chilling addition to the Potter collection. Ralph Fiennes is impressively sinister as Lord Voldemort and the captivating maze sequence echoes elements of The Shining.

For all its strengths, its 21⁄2 hour-plus running time is its bum-numbing weakness. Tackling such a long and complicated story is no easy task and at times Newell repeats the mistakes of the second film as he ploughs through the plot to the detriment of its overall character.

Nevertheless, the young cast are more comfortable in their roles, the special effects are fantastic and there are enough charming moments throughout the film which make it well worth a watch.