British Press Leaks First Potter Review

For those of us who obey press embargoes, it’s annoying stuff like this that really gets one’s goat.

The Times Online has posted up the first online review of the upcoming fifth “Harry Potter” film, and the verdict is mixed – with a 3/5 score.

It calls ‘Phoenix’ a “solid, occasionally spectacular set-piece that struggles unsuccessfully to give us thrills and fun we have not already had in previous instalments” and “overall there is a shortage of those joyful little glimpses of the wizarding world’s furniture that punctuated and perked up the previous films”.

The main problem though seems to be the same as for those who had difficulty with the last film – namely, the lack of a true climax that will only come with the last book. Critic Leo Lewis says “the true denouement of the cycle is now two movies distant…As the waiting for the final book grows unbearable, there are moments when this otherwise enjoyable film, though nicely made and through no fault of its own, feels like a chore to be got through before the main course”.

Now for my soapbox. I’m a pretty critical reviewer generally, not one to praise lightly. I saw the film last week in London and whilst I can’t publish my review until the week of release, I can say that they took what I consider arguably the worst book in the series and turned it into arguably the best (well second best, ‘Azkaban’ will always hold a special place) film in the franchise so far – and easily the best of the Summer blockbusters this season so far. I can’t go into anymore detail I’m sorry, but expect a more in-depth critical analysis in a little over a week from now.