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Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire review

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
12Acertificate 12A
Running time: 157 minutes
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman
Rating 8 out of 10
It's the fourth year at Hogwarts and Harry and his pals are back to save the world from the evil Lord Voldemort. Mike Newell is in the director's chair this time round but you'd hardly know there has been a change in personnel at the helm as the now very familiar magical world that has been created for the first three films provides a solid base for another fantastic film.

That's not to say that Newell doesn't bring some flourishes to The Goblet of Fire; his vision of the Quidditch World Cup complete with a stadium to shame the new Wembley, set the scene for some beautifully realised CGI triumphs which pepper the two and a half hour running time.

There's a buzz around Hogwarts as the students learn they are to host the Triwizard Tournament. Not only is it a dangerous contest for any young wizard, testing as it does their powers of bravery and cunning as well as wand power, but it also comes with the added bonus that there are new faces around as the rival schools stay over for the games. Durmstrang are represented by Viktor Krum, Quidditch legend and heart-throb, Beauxbatons have the stunning Fleur Delacour and the Hogwarts champion is the all round good egg Cedric Diggory. But there is always room for one extra, under age wizard right?

It's the tournament which serves as the spine of the film. The chosen champions have to collect a golden egg from a dragon's nest to find the next clue to the tasks. These in turn lead them through a watery hell to a mystical maze before the cup can be grasped. Along the way Harry learns a few life lessons about trust and friendship.

This year too there is a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in the form of Mad-Eye Moody, an all-seeing, all-knowing shambles of a man played to perfection by Brendan Gleeson. The one thing he doesn't notice though is the increased levels of hormones as first Hermione, then Harry and finally Ron all fall for other students. Each in turn has to learn the toughest teenage lesson of all - that of unrequited love.

As usual the press has made much of darker side to the film. While it's true that the 12A certificate is the strongest yet, it'll be parents worried that the film is too scary rather than the children themselves. That said, anyone with a fear of drowning or creepy graveyards might want to go prepared.

It's our heroes who firmly take centre stage on the acting front as the teachers take on more supporting roles and it's great to see that they let no one down. Radcliffe in particular has grown into the part and its hard to see anyone else as Harry Potter. Special mention should also be made for Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort - his snake like persona will send shivers down the spine of young and old alike.

Fans will love The Goblet of Fire and it will also raise a few surprised eyebrows amongst those who thought this was all a bit too childish for their liking.

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