A lot of the earlier Harry Potter films came out throughout my teenage days...from primary all the way to high school...and for most of that, I watched Harry Potter as a fantasy...and not so much as a film...
But, I have recently re-watched the whole saga, and I finally have more of an idea of how it is as a film. And below is my ranking of them from worst to best.
Also, none of these are bad films. Some are less special than others - but they are all good films, at least. And if I have one sentiment about the whole saga - is that they know how to pull of humour when they do. Some scenes are just spectacularly funny.
8. Goblet of Fire
This fourth entry has lots of cool stuff...and is even the first time we get to see main baddie Lord Voldemort. But, the film itself doesn't feel special in any way. It feels a bit predictable, and also a bit like a video game going from one task to the next. And probably the Quidditch World Cup that didn't happen is a prime example of why this film feels lacklustre. But there some very cool stuff in this film, and the main actors begun to show their acting chops really well....especially Emma Watson.
7. Chamber of Secrets
This second entry is a solid entry in the series. It also lacks anything special because it is not the beginning of the series but it is also not where all the major stuffs are happening. This film is more like telling us that this is what a year in the life of Harry Potter looks like. And another thing I don't very much like is how convenient the final battle/conflict is.
That being said, this movie represents the core of what the Harry Potter films are about. There is a mystery that our young heroes are trying to solve...and it is only near the end when all is revealed and starts to make complete sense. And this film also has lots of humour which I'm beginning to feel is one of the core elements of a Harry Potter film.
6. Philosopher's Stone
The first entry is a similarly solid entry. It introduces us to this magical world of Hogwarts and some very interesting characters, as well. Like its sequels, there are mysteries that happen in which our young heroes are trying to figure...and only at the end is the twist revealed. Come to think of it...Harry Potter films were using plot twists before it was cool (nowadays a plot twist is almost a necessity). This film is indeed a very solid introduction to a group of young heroes that we follow for 10 years on.
5. Deathly Hallows - Part 2
It is a decent finale for a spectacular saga. But given that the saga has been going on for 10 years now and has been spectacular throughout...a great ending doesn't seem good enough. It has its moments, and it has some very cool battle sequence which trumps any battle sequences of the franchise. And it has that very special twist/revelation of Professor Severus Snape - arguably the greatest undercover hero ever. However, everything else about the film is a bit predictable, and is very slowly heading towards that moment between Harry & Voldemort. There is nothing else notable that makes this film the special finale that the saga needs. But, it still remains a solid & good finale.
4. Half-Blood Prince
The first time around, I felt this film is a bit boring - especially considering the books has a battle sequence at the end (yes, I did read the book). But now I realize that this film has a lot more to it. And while the film was slow-paced, I think it really fits the tone of the film. And the tone is indeed quite dark but it is just what the film meant it to be. There are a lot of powerful scenes in the film, and I find myself surprisingly taken with this film, watching it this time around. But also, this film doesn't forsake the humour. In fact, it has lots of it - one thing that I just couldn't get off my mind now is the scene in the hospital wing when Ron was lying injured and Professor Dumbledore says "Oh, to be young, and to feel love's keen sting" - that and the look on Professors Slughorn & Snape says it all. That scene alone totally made my day.
Top 3 in the next post...