All the difficulties I had with the book are of course present here in the film. And it is all compounded by squishing over 700 pages of J.K. into what really should have been two movies. It is Harry Potter, so I still love it, but Goblet is in competition with Chamber as my least favourite of the series.
So much of my thoughts and feelings regarding the movie is mirrored from my comments on the book. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has a beautiful beginning and ending, filled with the appropriate dread and dripping evil, all to scare us into fear beyond fear. Voldemort is plotting his comeback, and then Voldemort achieves his comeback. Bookends of terror to compel us to keep watching. To put it bluntly, I loved both ends of this film.
But then we have the middle. I have no intention of rehashing all my misgivings with the Triwizard tournament, but even dramatized these events hold very little interest for me. Also, the first challenge with the dragons went from being the exciting journey of Harry mastering the advanced magic of Accio to a special effects laden overblown zip around Hogwarts. Kind of really disappointed with that choice of story elements. This I believe is the root of my problems here.
After the pleasant beauty of director Alfonso Cuaron on Azkaban, all the grace and inventiveness and style vanished. The dial was pushed on the wayback machine to the preteen Harry movies. Those films were fine for what they had to do, and worked for the age frame involved, but the time is now for the more serious story. J.K. had plans for everything to channel upwards as the characters naturally progressed, and this film partially betrays this notion. Thankfully, Goblet is the last vestige of this problem, with the series getting back on track with the next entry.
One massive nitpick, an aberration occurring only here, is Harry’s gangly freaky hair from hell. Did no one notice how awful this looked? Distracting at all times, this attempt to make Harry looked rugged (my guess) backfires on all levels. This stuff matters Hollywood.
While it may sound like I despise Goblet, I do not. All of the Voldemort scenes created chills, just as they should. The final battle tells us everything we need to know for what comes later. Voldemort is a bully and cruel beyond measure. This lopsided fight can be identified with by all, since bullying is unfortunately an universal constant. Harry survives by the power of his bravery and because of the love he receives. A touching ending in the book replicated here masterfully. Edge of my seat every scene.
With this leg of the journey complete, the war will start soon. But first Harry has to take on some more vile bullies.
P.S. Harry Potter is copyright 2012 to J.K. Rowling.