Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Harry Potter Film Rewatch Project: #4 Harry Potter and the Poor Choices on Every Front

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Spoilers Warning for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film and book.

Well…welcome back I guess. Sorry for the less than enthusiastic greeting it’s just…we’ve entered the dark ages of Harry Potter films unfortunately and, unless I decide to do the first Fantastic Beasts, we’re not getting out of them. Chamber of Secrets was the best film from an adaptation standpoint, and Prisoner of Azkaban was the best film from a film making standpoint. So if your eight movie franchise peaks by movie three…these next five are going to be rough.

Now, to be fair, Goblet of Fire was always going to be a difficult book to adapt. It has a lot going on, lots of new characters and big moments they had to fit in. Goblet of Fire the book is the firm tipping point in the series where we start shifting from children’s fairy tale to darker war story. This shift is less noticeable in the movies, since Prisoner of Azkaban leaned hard into the dark, especially aesthetically.

We once again welcome a one shot director, Mike Newell. Unlike Cuarón, I’m not super sad to see Newell go. I will, however, concede that he got the shaft more than any other director in the series. As we will discuss, Goblet of Fire should have been split up into two movies. The original plan was to do just that, but it wasn’t and we got…this.

Rewatching Now

So the film opens up with a snake slithering through a graveyard, making its way to a house in the distance. We then cut to an old man in a nearby house, setting a kettle on a stove. He notes that a light is on in said house, and goes off to investigate. In the house he spots two men speaking to a chair-Peter Pettigrew and…David Tennant…what? I don’t…why…ugh.

Okay, so, I need to explain this. We’re jumping ahead to the big twist of this movie and the corresponding book, so if you care about spoilers, go read the book. David Tennant plays Barty Crouch Jr, a Death Eater who managed to escape punishment due to his mother convincing his father to use the Polyjuice Potion to switch them. He was kept under the Imperious Curse in the attic, but escaped and has rejoined Voldemort, who managed to achieve a weak physical form in the time since The Philosopher’s Stone. This is an important secret that needed to be kept from us, the audience! He’s believed to be dead, and he spends most of the book disguised and making sure nobody finds out that he’s out and about. The fact that he’s even really a character is a mystery that only makes sense in hindsight, and we don’t even learn that he exists until the end of the second act! H…having him show up now is like if an episode of Scooby Doo opened with showing the villain getting into the monster costume! That’s not…you’ve missed the entire point! You can’t open a mystery with the answer to the mystery! Were you scared that audience would be angry that your final twist was actually surprising?

Moving on. The old man gets spotted by the snake from before, and is promptly killed. Who was this man? Why was he checking on this house when he didn’t live there? Why would Voldemort be here in particular? I don’t know, it’s never explained! I mean, some of it can be inferred from the climax, but by and large no, this is inexplicable. I’ve seen more than one person declare that this film is incomprehensible without having read the book, and while I wouldn’t go quite that far, there’s a good number of scenes that really don’t work as well as they should. I won’t go into what was up with this house or that guy, since I really am trying to just review the film as a film, but just know that I didn’t forget to explain this, the movie did.

We then cut to Harry waking up. Well, Hermione is waking him up, apparently this film chose to entirely omit the Dursleys and so Harry is at the Weasley home. We lose some good and/or funny character moments as a result of this, but no plot holes are caused by the omission so we’ll move on. Ron is not thrilled to be woken up by Hermione, attempting to cover himself which…yeah, actually, why did Mrs. Weasley (or Mr. Weasley rather, given that Mrs. Weasley isn’t in this movie either) send Hermione up? Admittedly, Percy, Bill, and Charlie aren’t present in this movie, but would the Twins have risked missing the World Cup by pranking them instead of just waking them up? Seems odd.

Either way, they wind up tromping through the forest to a spot where they find two other wizards, Amos and Cedric Diggory, the latter of whom was up in a tree for reasons that are never actually given. Oh, Cedric. One of the bigger elephants in the room for this movie, entirely because of who plays him. All I can say is…Twilight was not Robert Pattinson’s fault any more than it was Kristen Stewart’s; nobody could have done better given what he had to work with, and he’s fine here. That’s all I have to say about that.

Either way, they head up a hill to where there is an old boot just sitting alone on the hill top. Everybody gathers around it, much to Harry’s confusion. The Twins inform him that it’s a portkey, but nobody tells him what that means, and as a result he almost misses it, only just barely putting his hand on the boot in time before it sucks everybody up into…a whited out version of the Doctor Who opening titles I guess. The portkey is a teleporting device it seems, one that violently chucks you out onto the ground if you’re not experienced enough. That feels like a design flaw that should have been removed in testing before letting the public use the thing. I mean, what if they’d been next to a cliff? We’d have lost Ginny! Admittedly, Ginny barely contributes anything to the movies, but still, the point remains!

We then see them go up the new hill that they just landed on, and we learn that they’ve gone to see the Quidditch World Cup. They separate from the Diggorys, and Mr. Weasley takes them to their tent which has apparently already been set up for them. I’m not sure when or how that happened, but I guess it’s not super important. What is important is that the tent is bigger on the inside, and Harry’s realization of this fact results in a genuinely nice moment of wonder and glee on his face as he expresses once more that he loves magic. It’s the little things like this that make watching this movie at least a bit worth it.

The movie quickly moves on to the group heading up the stadium to their seats. As they do, they go past Draco and Lucius, who taunt them for having seats at the very top of the stadium while they get to be in the VIP box. Uhm…two quick notes here. First off, in the book the Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione got tickets to sit in the VIP box as well. Not only does this create a plot hole later on (or at least contribute to it), but it also raises the question of why make it? No, really, why did they change this? What was the point, how did the production benefit from this? Most of Cuarón’s changes made some sort of sense from a production standpoint, and so do some of Newell’s, but this I just don’t get. And secondly, wouldn’t a game that’s largely played towards the top of the stadium be best viewed from the top? I mean, in real sports the nosebleed seats are further away from the action, and that’s why they’re not as good. This is exactly where one would want to be I’d feel, they’re at the equivalent of courtside. If anything, I feel like the lower the seats the cheaper they’d be for Quidditch.

Well, either way, the match starts, we get fireworks displays from both teams (Bulgaria and Ireland) are introduced to Viktor Krum…well, we’re introduced to the fact that Krum exists, he doesn’t get any lines or anything so it’s not a proper introduction yet. The match starts…and then we cut to the Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione celebrating the aftermath in their tent. Yeah, we’re not getting even a single Quidditch match this movie unfortunately. Understandable, given the time crunch, but still somewhat frustrating.

Ron starts waxing poetic about Krum’s skills as a flier, which gets the others mocking and laughing, but a panicked Mr. Weasley stops them. The yelling they’ve been hearing outside is not the result of the Irish celebrating their victory, but something more sinister. The group runs outside, where they see a group of people in dark robes and evil looking masks gathered in a group, firing fireballs into the crowd and generally causing havoc.

The group gets split up, and Harry is knocked unconscious. When he finally regains consciousness, the area is largely deserted, with most of the tents burned to the ground, but we see David Tennant fire off a spell into the sky, conjuring up a skull with a snake tongue. He then spots Harry and starts walking towards him and…okay, we need to talk about this. This all happens in the book, that much is true. But context matters! In the book, Crouch Jr was in the VIP box with Harry and co, under an invisibility cloak and the Imperious Curse, which he shook off in order to steal Harry’s wand, which was poking out of the kid’s pocket. The Death Eaters (the folks in dark robes and evil looking masks) were the ones who managed to escape charges through renouncing Voldemort after his defeat. They got drunk and decided to have a little fun for old times’ sake. This infuriated Crouch Jr, who can’t stand those who didn’t stay fanatically loyal to Voldemort, and he fired off the Dark Mark (the skull with the snake tongue) to scare them into running away, since the thing had been Voldemort’s calling card.

Here though, Crouch Jr has already escaped and gotten a wand…somehow. The movie will never tell us how he managed this feat (in fact, they never tell us any of his backstory past him being sentenced to Azkaban so we don’t even know where he’s been this whole time); we just know that he did. More to the point, he doesn’t fire off the Mark until after the Death Eaters have already vacated the area. So…why did he fire it off? Were the Death Eaters rioting a distraction to let him conjure the Dark Mark? He starts to go after Harry when he sees him, stopped only by the arrival of others, was Crouch Jr supposed to get him and just got excited? I don’t…this scene makes no sense now! You can’t just have stuff happen without reason or context just for the sake of having it happen! That’s not how the process of adaptation works! Dammit, I forgot about this, I was all ready to be nice and charitable to Mr. Newell but this is just…aagh.

Moving on. Ron and Hermione find Harry, but only get a few words in before a group of Ministry wizards apparate in and fire stunning spells at the trio. Fortunately the teens duck just in time, and Mr. Weasley runs in, stopping them as he protests that one of the kids being attacked is his son. Their leader, a man who looks like what would happen if you said ‘stuffy British dude’ into a mirror three times, is Barty Crouch Sr. and he attempts to interrogate the trio about which of them cast the Mark, until Mr. Weasley points out that they’re just kids. Harry does tell them about the man he saw in the distance who did cast the spell, though he admits that he didn’t see the man’s face.

We then move straight to the Hogwarts Express. Not much really happens on the train besides the introduction of Harry’s…crush? I guess? We’ve never seen her before, but she and Harry appear to have met in the past. Her name is Cho Chang, and she’s in Ravenclaw. She’s fairly underserved in the movies, though she was fairly underserved in the books too honestly. Cutting out her introduction in the last movie didn’t help matters, but at the end of the day it only really matters in that it makes Harry’s pining for her come the Yule Ball really weird and out of nowhere.

What does matter is that we get to the welcoming feast, and the movie becomes front loaded as heck. We are rapidly introduced to new concepts and characters. The gist of it that there is to be a tournament between the three main magical schools of Europe—Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons—and thus it is called the Triwizard Tournament. The representatives of the two schools then parade in, doing a little show for the students. The witches of Beauxbatons do a strange sort of seductive…I don’t know what it is. It’s not a dance, they just sort of…prance in, and occasionally stop to give breathy moans and throw flying paper butterflies into the air. Their uniforms are nice though. The wizards of Durmstrang come in much more aggressively, slamming staves onto the ground and causing bursts of sparks.

I mentioned that they were divided by gender, right? Cause they are. Beauxbatons only sent girls, and Durmstrang only sent guys. They’re supposed to be the two biggest schools in continental Europe (possibly the only schools, the books and movies aren’t clear on this point) and they’re single gender schools? Admittedly, now that I think about it I don’t remember the book ever mentioning female delegates from Durmstrang, but Beauxbatons definitely brought men. Also of note are two particular students, a beautiful blonde girl (Fleur Delacour) from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang has brought Viktor Krum.

In addition to the tournament and new schools, we’re being introduced to the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor: Alastor ‘Mad Eye’ Moody a maimed and paranoid retired Dark Wizard hunter. We meet him when he…stops the rain. I don’t know what to tell you guys. It starts raining outside, and I guess that means it starts raining in the Great Hall. That seems like a major design flaw that we should have seen in previous movies, but okay. Also, for a wizard in a society with a strong medieval aesthetic Mad Eye seems very cyborg-like. His fake eye (which can see through barriers and zoom in on things like a camera) makes a whirring noise when we briefly get his POV, and his fake leg is metal with lots of gears.

And finally we get the Goblet of Fire, the eponymous artifact of the movie that is going to stop mattering almost as soon as it’s introduced. It’s a big flaming…well, Goblet. Those who wish to enter the Tournament simply have to write their name on a sheet of parchment and the Goblet will choose the best candidate from each school. How? It’s never really explained (not in the books either, so this isn’t a flaw of the movie alone) but it at least knows to only pick one student from each school. It is also going to be surrounded by an Age Line, designed to keep people under the age of 17 (when wizards and witches come of age in this world) from entering. The functionality of this defense is demonstrated when Fred and George use a potion to artificially age themselves a few months, only to get thrown backwards and sprout beards. Their shenanigans are interrupted by the Durmstrangs, and a super serious Krum entering his own name, which the Goblet accepts.

With that established we move on to the next scene: Moody’s class. He explains that, as a favor to Dumbledore, he has come out of retirement to teach classes for one year and one year only. And, for his first lesson, he’s decided to demonstrate the three Unforgivable Curses—dark curses that will get you sent straight to Azkaban just for using. Well, for using on a human at least, as Moody shows them off on a strange…crab, spider thing. The three Curses are the Imperius Curse which allows the caster mind control, the Cruciatus Curse which tortures the victim, and the Killing Curse-Avada Kedavra. He uses all three on the spider crab thing, demonstrating just how terrifying Imperius can be, then traumatizing Neville with showing him the Cruciatus on the thing from close up, and finally putting it out of its misery with Avada Kedavra. A spell that’s apparently impossible to block with magic and that has only one known survivor-Harry.

And that’s the last class we’ll see in the movie! There’ll be a study hall type thing supervised by Snape, where he actually lays hands on Ron and Harry for some slapstick after they talk to much, but aside from that we’re not seeing any more homework get done. Hope you weren’t wanting to see any of the other teachers teach anything! This…this is a problem with this movie, and forcing a very packed book into one movie. They had to drop a lot to get all the tournament scenes in, and it leads to a rushed affair that makes it feel like Harry and the others devoted their entire year to the Triwizard Tournament, while also cutting out most of his preparations. At least give us a training montage! If you want to be a movie about a tournament then fine, but adopt the practices of sports movies in that case!

With that in mind, we quickly move to the choosing of the Champions, in which the Goblet spits out names. We get Fleur and Krum, because they’re, y’know, the only ones from the other schools we’ve actually had any degree of focus on, and then Cedric because he’s the only Hogwarts students who’s named and has lines that we know is old enough. Somewhat a side effect of condensing this story to fit a running time, but admittedly a flaw the book had as well. We had plenty of other options for Hogwarts students in the book, but the students of the other schools were not really existent, at least as characters. Which doesn’t result in much suspense. After the names are called and Dumbledore begins to make announcements however, the Goblet of Fire lights up, and spits out a fourth piece of paper. One that has Harry’s name on it.

Yeah the fact that this is a Harry Potter movie and that they were leaning so heavily on the ‘nobody Harry’s age could possibly enter the Tournament’ angle made this kind of obvious. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I just don’t have the energy to fake surprise.

So, Harry’s in the Triwizard Tournament now. Apparently, having his name come out of the Goblet of Fire constituted a binding magical contract that he can’t escape from, and so he has to stay in it. Unsurprisingly, we’re going to see a lot of negative reactions from other characters at this point. The heads of the other schools, loads of other students, including Ron (who’s petty and jealous but also 14 so let’s be kind), Snape, all unhappy and vocal about it. McGonagall too, though she’s at least unhappy on Harry’s behalf. What is surprising however, is how Dumbledore reacts—by grabbing Harry and physically shaking him while shouting at Harry to demand to know if he put his name in or had another student put it in. This is remarkably out of character for the guy. Even more so in the next scene, when he agrees with Snape to use Harry as bait and draw out whoever put Harry’s name in the Goblet. To let events unfold, as they say in that scene. And…wow. I just…wow. This is bad guys. Really, really bad.

To make matters worse, we get introduced to the unscrupulous reporter, Rita Skeeter. Well, worse for Harry, only moderately worse for us. This is actually a really good portrayal of Rita, very well acted and costumed. It’s just she sort of drops out of the movie after the First Task, and as a result there’s not really any conclusion to the arc sparked by her presence. And so while we do have two scenes of characters reacting negatively to her writing, nothing ever comes from it, and as a result she just feels rather pointless to the movie. Just there because she was in the book.

More importantly, we fast forward to Sirius’s one scene in the movie, where he speaks to Harry in the fireplace via Floo Powder to give him some advice and warnings. We get an interesting change from the books here. Not an important one really, but amusing enough that I want to mention it. In the books, when you speak via Floo Powder you toss some of the stuff in the fire, poke your head through, and they just see your head floating in the flames. Here, Sirius’ head appears in the hearth, made of embers and ashes. It is a cool looking effect, but also a very dramatic one. Imagine trying to talk to a friend about something relatively trivial and unimportant, but rather than just having your face in their fire, it is fire.

We finally move to a scene with a lasting impact on the movie when Harry sneaks into the Forbidden Forest under the invisibility cloak, guided by Hagrid and accidentally third wheeling the man’s attempted date with Madam Maxime (the head of Beauxbatons) to see the obstacles for the First Task. Dragons. Harry is, understandably, very concerned about this. Hagrid, still being a big fan of dragons, tries to reassure Harry, but even he concedes that one of the four, the Hungarian Horntail, is a piece of work. Gee, I wonder which one Harry will have to face.

But, we need to move on to Harry being confronted with the displeasure of his fellow students. He does, however, warn Cedric about the dragons, figuring that Fleur definitely knows, and he knows, and Krum probably knows, so Cedric should know too. After a fairly cordial interaction, he bumps into Draco, who taunts him with a claim that he and his father have a bet about how long Harry will last in the First Task, and that each agree he won’t last more than ten minutes. Harry tells Draco that his father and he are vile and pathetic respectively and turns to leave. This inspires Draco to draw his wand as Harry tries to walk away, but Moody intercepts him and transforms him into a ferret, which he shoves down…Crabbe or Goyle’s pants. I can’t tell them apart honestly, and it really doesn’t matter. Either way, after Draco is fixed by McGonagall, who then scolds Moody, the man then pulls Harry aside to talk to him, having overheard his warning to Cedric. He’s not upset by this, but he does want to help the boy out. He suggests that Harry play to his strengths, specifically flying. Harry points out that he’s not allowed a broom, to which Moody retorts that he’s allowed a wand.

And then we jump ahead to the First Task. I’m honestly not sure how far ahead we jump, could be days or weeks, the time frame of this movie is kind of wonky and difficult to pin down. We get some time in a special waiting tent as the Champions go out to face their dragons one at a time, Hermione tries to help Harry stay calm, she hugs him and gets caught by Rita Skeeter, who is in turned chased out by Krum, who offers up what I’m pretty sure is his only audible line in the movie to do so. Eventually it’s Harry’s turn, and he opens up with summoning his broom. Using a spell that’s never been used or mentioned before in the movies. Heaven knows when or how he learned it, he just knows it, and he gets his broom, allowing him to evade the dragon. It starts out just in a reasonably sized arena designed for this purpose, but pretty quickly things go south when the dragon’s leash snaps and the two get in an aerial chase around Hogwarts, crashing into stuff, causing massive property damage, getting off the broom at one point, and possibly killing the dragon before looping back and retrieving his actual goal, a golden egg.

I can’t..I don’t…oh dear hell. This evading the dragon around Hogwarts scene is four minutes long. Only a few scenes later we get another multiple minute invented scene where McGonagall teaches the students how to dance in preparation for the Yule Ball and forces Ron to dance with her. They added pointless nonsense, but completely dropped most of Sirius and Rita’s stuff and all of Dobby’s? Why? Just…just why? The dragon chase even results in Harry getting wounded and spending the next couple scenes with an arm in a sling and stitches on his cheek. Which, I’m pretty sure he shouldn’t have since said wounds should have been magically healed, but oh well!

What does matter is that, celebrating his victory in the Gryffindor Common Room, Harry opens the top of the golden egg and unleashes a terrible scream into the air. Ron demanding what the noise was sparks him and Harry finally talking, and the two reconcile before moving on to the aforementioned dancing scene.

Harry and Ron both panic about needing someone to go to the Yule Ball with. Harry attempts to ask Cho, but she’s already agreed to go with Cedric, though she tries to let him down gently. Ron…asked Fleur. Shouted at her apparently. Both got turned down, and Ron attempts to ask Hermione out, but she already has a date and is furious with him for his untactful way of asking. Harry, attempting to fix things because he needs a date as a Champion, asks Parvati Patil out, and manages to secure her twin Padma as a date for Ron in the process.

They go to the ball, and find out how Hermione is going with-Viktor Krum. Two things here. One, and this is a problem with the books too, he is an adult. Depending on when his birthday is, and when one comes of age in his home country, he is at the very least 17. She is 14. This is the equivalent of an 18 year old dating a 15 year old, to use real world equivalents! It’s creepy! But secondly, and probably more importantly, seeing how little this ball and Krum matter to the movies over all, they attempt to pull an ‘ugly duckling’ style transformation scene on Hermione, where she comes down all done up and stuns everyone with her beauty. Except…they don’t do anything with her really, because Emma Watson was/is already pretty and they didn’t do anything to make her look less conventionally attractive in the rest of the movie! In the book Hermione got her buckteeth shrunk down to regular size, and she straightened her usually wild and untamed mass of hair, and she dressed in something other than the standard baggy robes for once. None of those quote unquote ‘problems’ exist in this movie, resulting in a very weird scene.

Nothing much comes of the ball. We get some moments that at least provide character stuff, like Ron being a jerk to his date, Harry being slightly less of a jerk but still a jerk to his date, Ron and Hermione arguing, Hagrid dancing with Madam Maxime, but nothing that ever comes back or is really referenced again afterwards. It’s in the movie because they felt obligated to include it, not because they had any ideas on what to do with it. So let’s just move on.

Cedric returns the favor of Harry warning him about the dragons to tell him to go take the golden egg and listen to it in the bathtub. As such Harry takes it into the Prefects’ bathroom, and their large, nearly swimming pool sized tub. It’s here that Moaning Myrtle makes a return. It’s also here that she gets into the tub with Harry and starts flirting with him. The actress who played Myrtle was in her thirties when this film was made. I know that the character is a teenager, but still! It’s gross! The important thing though is that Harry figures out why the egg makes a terrible noise. It’s making Mermaid speech, and they’re only intelligible to untrained ears underwater. The egg thus gives him a riddle, warning him that something important to him is at the bottom of the lake. This sends Harry on a frantic hunt through the library for something that’ll let him make it to said bottom, and he eventually snaps at Neville who, being a supremely nice kid, brushes aside the anger from Harry and instead gives him a gross looking plant called Gillyweed which, unsurprisingly considering the name, gives him gills (and flippers, but the name of the thing isn’t a pun on those).

Harry makes it to the Merpeople village to find that what was stolen wasn’t objects but people. Specifically Ron, Hermione, Cho, and a little blonde girl. Cedric and Krum show up in short order, Cedric having used a spell that gives him some sort of breathing mask and Krum having half turned himself into a shark. Cedric takes Cho and Krum takes Hermione, but the time limit is running out and nobody has turned up to save the little girl because Fleur is such a failure that she was forced to tap out. If I were talking about the series as a whole, or even just the books, I’d go on a tear about this, but it is accurate to the books and that’s not the point of these articles, so we’ll move on under protest. Harry, being a bit excessively noble and not great at thinking things through all the way, decides to just get both of them out of there (it’s never explicitly stated but we can infer that he assumed they’d just leave the little girl to die if nobody saved her). This angers the Merpeople, causing a scuffle that’s extended when Harry encounters some other examples of the local fauna, but he manages to get them and himself out without permanent injury.

After the event, he’s taken aside by the stuffy Mr. Crouch, who congratulates him on this show of moral fiber, but then has a moment of horrified realization after a short conversation with Moody in which Moody rather creepily licks his lips and rushes off. Later that night Harry stumbles across his corpse, because he has just the worst luck. He goes to tell Dumbledore, who leaves him alone in his office. Harry, seeing a weird glowy basin, decides to stick his head into it, because why not get nosey about a strange magical artifact in a powerful wizard’s private office? This device is, we find out, a Pensieve, a thing that allows one to store and view memories within. He sees the trial of a Death Eater, Kakaroff (the headmaster of Durmstrang) who gives up four names in an attempt to gain his own freedom. Two of them are rejected, as one is dead and the other is Snape, who Dumbledore vouches for as already reformed. The other two are a man from within the Ministry of Magic, and Barty Crouch Jr. Jr. was at the trial in the audience for…reasons, and is immediately apprehended, licking his lips in the exact same manner as Moody was earlier.

Harry has a repeat of the same dream/vision involving the old man’s death that opened the movie, because the book had a dream/vision at this point too, even if it was a new one in that case. It’s not super consequential though, since, you know, it’s a repeat of a previous scene. What is consequential is the Third Task, a giant hedge maze that has the Triwizard Cup at the center. I would like to point out that, given the size and scale of the maze, nobody can really see what the Champions are doing in it. Much like none of them could see what was happening in the lake. Not a flaw the movies created, but still an odd choice for a tournament. They go into the maze, with Moody (who I’m pretty sure we all know is Jr. at this point) giving him a hint on which direction to go in. We see the other Champions go through it, not having a good time. Fleur in particular is running away from something and whimpering in fear because she’s the girl I guess. I don’t…ugh we don’t have time for this, I know I just…I really don’t like how Fleur gets handled in this book/movie okay? I’m sorry it’s just really bad and I have trouble keeping a lid on it.

Krum isn’t a lot better off, having apparently been put under the Imperius Curse at some point. And, in a rather odd production choice given that they had Jr. as Moody specifically state that it’s tricky to tell who’s under the curse and who isn’t; Krum’s eyes are all white and cloudy, which seems remarkably unsubtle. Cedric and Harry proceed to play a game of ‘saving the other person leapfrog’, resulting in them both reaching the Cup at the same time. Both are decent people, and decide to grab the Cup at the same time to share the victory. I wonder if that would have worked, or if they would have been forced into some sort of tie breaker. They are from the same school after all.

We’ll never know though, because the Cup has been turned into a portkey and it dumps the two into the graveyard from the opening. And Cedric is almost immediately killed. Just bam, two seconds and then dead. Poor guy. Poor kid? Poor kid.

The murderer is Pettigrew, who manages to trap Harry using a conveniently located Angel of Death statue. And, by taking a bone from the grave beneath the statue, his own hand, and blood from Harry, he manages to give Voldemort a new body, fully sized and remarkably snake like. This is…an odd ritual, that doesn’t really jive with most other forms of Harry Potter magic that we see, but there is, in general, a strange otherness to Dark Magic in this series that’s never really dived into, so I can’t really get upset with it or anything. Voldemort, now a full grown adult instead of the weird baby thing he was before, uses the magical tattoo he gave all his followers to summon them to him. They come rather quickly, all of them decked out in full Death Eater regalia. Is the uniform magic? Can they just put it on and take it off with a snap? Or did they all just happen to have it handy wherever they were when Voldemort called them?

Well, regardless, Voldemort goes down the line, tearing off their masks and shouting their names, scolding them for not seeking after him or going to Azkaban for him. Peter points out that he helped him, and while Voldemort retorts that was out of fear, not loyalty, he concedes that Peter was still useful, and gives him a new silver hand before finally turning his attention to Harry. The maniac demonstrates that now, thanks to using Harry’s blood in the ritual, he can touch Harry without pain. In fact, just a finger to the face causes Harry immense pain. This new ability shown off, he releases Harry and challenges him to a duel. Harry, not having many options, agrees only to trigger a strange and rare magical phenomenon, Priori Incantatem. Their wands, having paired cores, tie together with magic, and as Harry wins a brief contest of wills summons ghostly versions of his parents and Cedric, who cause enough of a distraction for Harry to grab Cedric’s body and the Cup and escape via the portkey.

Upon arriving back at the entrance to the maze, Harry is lead away by Jr. while poor Amos sobs over Cedric’s body. He begins monologuing to Harry once they’re in his office, revealing that he’s evil, but before he can do anything Dumbledore busts in, along with McGonagall and Snape, who subdue him and force him to reveal his true appearance and, using a truth potion presumably made by Snape, force him to confess, which he proudly does. David Tennant hams it up here, much as he did in the Pensieve, and it results in an odd situation where one of the most talented actors in the movie gives its worst performance.

We then get a rapid set of short, bittersweet scenes as Dumbledore eulogizes Cedric and then warns Harry that the time is coming when everyone will have to choose between what is right and what is easy. Finally Harry promises to stay in touch with his friends, and they watch as the Beauxbatons’ carriage, pulled by flying horses, leaves.

Overall Thoughts

This was bad, guys. So much worse than I remembered! It’s just so crammed together, and poorly told and honestly, I can only half blame Newell. Putting The Goblet of Fire in a single movie was always going to be a bad idea, and so while Newell made bad choices that made things worse, the deck was stacked against him from the start. Is this the worst film in the series? Uhm…kind of? Structurally it’s certainly the worst, barely put together and slapdash. Does that mean it’s my least favorite? No, not really. There’s two more films that I dislike just as much, though for different reasons. And surprise surprise, one of them is the one we’re covering next! Yay. Get your pillows and blankets ready folks, we’re tackling The Order of the Phoenix next time!


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