It is very difficult to cram 734 pages into a film, even one which is two-and-a-half hours long. However, this is what director Mike Newell (Mona Lisa Smile) has successfully accomplished with the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. While fanatic fans of the book will be able to pick out what is missing (no house elves), Newell does an excellent job of cutting out the sub-plots to create a clear, concise storyline that follows the main plot of the book.
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a young wizard who is back for his fourth year at Hogwart's School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, where the historic Tri-Wizard Tournament is going to be taking place. Harry wants nothing to do with it, but when his name is spewed out of the Goblet of Fire, he must step up to the challenge, and his best friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are by his side as they help Harry and complete three dangerous tasks against the other top wizarding students. Everyone at Hogwart's is also going through puberty, as Harry chases Cho Chang (Katie Leung), Hermione hooks up with Bulgarian beefcake Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski) and Ron pretends that he can get with French hottie Fleur Delacour (Clemence Poesy). Hormones collide during the Yule Ball, a holiday prom-like event where an '80s British rock band headbangs and socially awkward teens learn to grind.
On top of everything else, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), the dark wizard who killed Harry's parents when he was an infant, is back again to finish the job and kill Harry. Luckily, Harry has Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and Professor Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson) on his side.
GI effects rule the day as beastly dragons shoot fire and exotic creatures roam in the depths of the lakes. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a film that will satisfy both the hardcore fan who dresses up in full Hogwarts regalia for book-release parties and the casual fan who can't tell the difference between quidditch and quiches.