“I love magic!” exclaims Harry Potter (Dan Radcliffe) a mere ten minutes into the latest Potter film. Well Harry, judging by the $100 million the movie took in at the box office its first weekend so does the rest of the world. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is the fourth installment of the hugely popular book series. However, do not expect this film to be like the previous three. Director Mike Newell did a wonderful job bringing the dark scenes from the book to the screen. “Goblet of Fire” chronicles Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The movie begins with Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron’s family attending the Quidditch World Cup. Everything goes well until the group returns to their campsite. Suddenly the camp is on fire and people are running to escape the Death Eaters, which are servants of Lord Voldemort. The emergence of the Death Eaters has the entire wizarding world worried. After the World Cup, Harry, Ron and Hermione return to school where they learn that the Triwizard Tournament will take place. The tournament gathers together 3 schools to compete in different magical tasks. One student is selected from each school. However, this year someone has put Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire and 2 students are chosen from Hogwarts. Harry must compete against students who are older and far more experienced.
As if fear of death and dismemberment is not enough to worry about, Harry must deal with the fact that the entire school thinks he is a cheat even his best friend Ron. The first task has each contestant facing off against a dragon. Harry does the best and redeems the respect of his school and Ron’s friendship.
The second task has the 4 champions diving into the lake to rescue something that has been taken from them. The final task involves a giant maze. The students must make their way through the maze and retrieve the Triwizard Cup. This task goes terribly wrong and Harry and the other Hogwarts champion Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) are transported to a cemetery.
The cemetery scene proves to be one of the most frightening in the entire film. Here, Harry comes face to face with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). This is the first time that viewers have seen Voldemort in human form. Sure, audiences have seen him as a face attached to the back of someone’s head like in “Sorcerers Stone” and as a teenage wizard in “Chamber of Secrets,” but never as a fully-formed person. Fiennes does an amazing job of bringing the most evil wizard in the world to life.
So, Harry has to deal with dragons, a dark lake, a giant maze and the return of Lord Voldemort, oh and there is just the minor problem of asking a girl to the Yule Ball. The Yule Ball is a traditional dance that is held at Christmas during the Tournament. This is the first time that Harry begins to notice girls, particularly Cho Chang (Katie Leung).
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is a treat for movie-goers of all ages. Younger fans will enjoy the excitement of the tasks. Older fans will love the humorous dialogue and wonderful acting from veterans like Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman and Brendan Gleeson who plays ex-Auror Mad-Eye Moody.
In the end, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” proves to be one of the most enjoyable films in the franchise thus far, that is until “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is released in 2007.