Wednesday, July 11, the Potter franchise struck again. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" opened to record breaking box office numbers, with a $12 million midnight screening, that Wednesday alone.
In this fifth movie in the series of seven, Harry (Daniel Redcliffe) returns again to battle the forces of evil and the sinister Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) who has recently come out of hiding. Voldemort is building an army to battle the forces of good, in turn Harry, in conjunction with a secret wizard society called the Order of the Phoenix, builds his forces to do battle with the forces of naughtiness.
This movie is not as good as the last one. Plain and simple. It just wasn't up to par. The story mostly deals with back story to set the audience up for the films to come. This film cannot stand alone like the ones in the past, and there is less action. Although in the earlier films the audience always knew the story continued, the plot lines had a beginning, middle and end. In this one, the audience is reminded over and over again that another film is on its way.
The effects were amazing however and the acting was good with the character development continuing. There were twists toward the end that were interesting, though predictable. This reporter was not as impressed by the episode in this latest saga. This series is a difficult one, not all the films can be great. Back story is required to set up the last two reportedly spectacular films however this is still a disappointment. It is not poorly made, it was directed well, acting was strong with new and interesting characters, but the action is less and it was clear that the purpose of this film is to get us ready for the magic to come. PG-13.