Being someone who has not read the Harry Potter books, I've been able to keep an open mind in watching the films and judge them on their own merrit. With that said, how does Order of the Phoenix compare to the previous four films? This one has become my favourite, if that means anything.
I thoroughly enjoyed 1 through 4 and watching the universe of Harry Potter unfold, giving us more and more insight into the characters and their relationships, and Order of the Phoenix continues this in grand fashion.
The story itself is darker, there is more menace from Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters and more is done against Harry than in previous films. Magic is used more often and to much greater effect, there is more going on and more of a fast pace than the previous films, and overall the visuals indicate menace over anything else. The actors do a superb job here, of note are Hermione returning to a much more suitable strong character, Neville Longbottom showing us some true emotion and not just comic relief, and Harry Potter as a tortured and confused teenager that no one believes, fighting for what he knows is right.
Overall, if you're looking for a Potter that actually focuses on magic spells and brisk pace, and reveals some truly great information about the characters (watch for a revelation into why Snape is so hard on Harry) then you wil enjoy this film more than any before it.
How does this movie compare to the other films? It exceeds them in emotion, character and effects in every way. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys the Harry Potter universe.
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I agree Van, the use of magic in this one is much better and the pacing is spot on. I love the portrayal of Luna Lovegood, just so close to crazy she can taste it. Very subtle and well done.
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