Directed by Mike Newell, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Brendan Gleeson, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Miranda Richardson.
Fans of Harry Potter will be drooling for more following the latest movie instalment of the young wizard's life. Indeed director Mike Newell has made such a marvellous movie that it will be of little surprise to see a new legion of fans jumping on the Harry Potter bandwagon in the coming weeks and months.
The whole spectacle is darker, bigger and far more engrossing. Gone are the sugar-coated happy endings and the various poor attempts at comedy that were present in the previous three movies.
The action starts off with Harry (Radcliffe) being troubled by a recurring dream involving the return to life of his arch nemesis, the all-powerful Lord Voldemort (Fiennes). The dream is far too realistic for Harry's liking.
He sets off to attend the Quidditch World Cup with his friends prior to his return to Hogwarts School of Magic. The brief vacation is brought to an abrupt halt by a rogue band of Death Eaters, supporters of Voldemort, who cause havoc by clearing the campsite using their dark magic.
They disappear as quickly as they appear and the authorities choose to ignore the occurrence as a mere troublemaking stunt.
Upon arrival at Hogwarts, students from two foreign wizarding schools, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, greet Harry and his friends. Headmaster Professor Dumbledore (Gambon) announces that champions over the age of 17 from the three schools will battle it out for the Triwizard tournament in the coming year.
However, a surprise lies in store for Harry when he is selected as one of the champions despite being the tender age of 14. Despite the complaints of those opposing him, and a number of his allies, Harry must participate in a competition that has claimed the life of many young wizards.
Harry comes face to face with Dragons, Merpeople, an enchanted maze and the growing menace of Lord Voldemort before the end of the competition.
'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' shows our favourite wizard trying to overcome the two biggest obstacles in his life, Lord Voldemort and puberty. Along with his two best mates, Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson), he is becoming more and more aware of the opposite sex and the trouble and joy that they can cause.
Newell has added a darkness that was missing in the previous movies. The parts of the novel that have been omitted have been left out in a calculated way so as not to interfere with the main plot points.
Newell insisted on the young cast receiving acting classes throughout the shoot, something that was neglected prior to 'The Goblet of Fire'. The results of this are clear to see. Emma Watson, excellent already in the series to date, has developed her skills even more and Rupert Grint has become more comfortable in his role as a nervous teenage boy and chief ally to Harry.
Daniel Radcliffe has improved on his earlier performances but still seems to be uneasy in the title role. That said, he has no problem portraying the nobility of his character, the most important aspect of this chapter of the young wizard's life.
Additionally, Brendan Gleeson fits into his role as MadEye Moody like a hand in a glove and Miranda Richardson gives an excellent portrayal of a gossip-generating reporter in her role as Rita Skeeter. There is also an excellent cameo from Roger Lloyd-Pack, more familiar to us as Trigger from 'Only Fools and Horses'.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has remained adamant that the cast should be composed of mainly British and Irish actors so it is surprising that, four films into the series, Newell is the first British director to get a crack at adapting one of the books. He has managed to add a touch of realism to the story by focusing on the life of the children at school. Fans of the book will be happy with the way he has remained true to the importance that Rowling places on love throughout her six books to date.
On a more serious note, parents may be well advised to exercise some caution before bringing their children to view Harry's latest adventure. A number of scenes are of a very frightening nature and could possibly cause an epidemic of nightmares across the country.
The wide appeal and thrilling nature of 'Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire' will convert sceptics, satisfy fanatics and leave most in eager anticipation of the next instalment due in two year's time.