Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Bomb Rating: 

Given the anticipation of finally meeting Voldemort, one would expect the moment to be intense, powerful, and fulfilling, which is why I couldn't have been more disappointed when Harry, having been transported via port key during the Triwizard tournament, comes face-to-face with none other than... The English Patient.

As anyone who's been on Planet Earth already knows, this is the Harry Potterepisode in which our young wizard - now 14 years old and in his fourth year at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizadry - comes face to face with "he who shall not be named."

"He who shall not be named" is, of course, the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, responsible for killing Harry's parents, tattooing Harry's forehead, and invading Iraq based on fabricated intelligence. Now, given the anticipation of finally meeting Voldemort, one would expect the moment to be intense, powerful, and fulfilling, which is why I couldn't have been more disappointed when Harry, having been transported via port key during the Triwizard tournament, comes face-to-face with none other than... The English Patient.

Given that Voldemort is indeed played by Ralph Fiennes, it stands to reason that the filmmakers would have wanted to make him look a little less like a burn victim and a little more like an evil wizard. I mean, what if Harry had seen "The English Patient"? He probably would have had the same reaction that I had, which was to ask the following question: "What happened to your nose, Count Laszlo?" Voldemort looks like the burnt Count Laszlo de Almasy following a really bad nose job. He doesn't look like he should be plotting to take over the wizarding world. He looks like he should be in bed getting sponge baths from Juliette Binoche.

It's not exactly a surprise that since the book preceding this movie was roughly 800 pages long, some things would have to be cut. So, all that crap with Hermoine (Emma Watson) freeing the house elves is gone and the movie is left to focus on the Triwizard tournament and the now-overwrought maturation of Harry, Hermoine, and Ron (Rupert Grint). This proves a bit much for the likes of director Mike ("Four Weddings and a Funeral") Newell, who looks like he's trying to figure out what kind of romantic comedy he's going to plop Emma Watson into once she fills out.

Actually, one feels somewhat sad for the young principal actors. Of course, no director has stuck around for very long, not wanting to have their careers defined by "Harry Potter." However, the kids aren't so lucky. One imagines an overweight, balding Daniel Radcliffe attending Pottercons in about 30 years, the lines of several ineffective stints in rehab drawn across his face. Some kind of videotape of Emma Watson will undoubtedly surface as she hits her twenties while Rupert Grint will be reduced to providing cricket play-by-play to make ends meet after declaring bankruptcy.

Oh well, only three more films to go.

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