VARIETY, Guardian Reviews Published
May 28, 2004
Carley and Donald both let us know that VARIETY’s review of PoA is now on their site, although the full review is only available to subscribers (they do have a trial subscription, though). This editor doubts that the critic has read any of the Harry Potter books, because of comments like, “Notably lacking is the sort of action-oriented climax that punctuated the earlier films, as “Prisoner of Azkaban” closes with a cerebral time-traveling interlude that nearly requires a crash-course in “Terminator” logic.” He did, however, have praise for the young stars, saying, that the “talented young performers … are ably growing up with their pubescent characters.”
The Guardian’s reviewer, as well, doesn’t seem familiar with the plots of Book 4 and Book 5, and says:
After three movies, I find myself now longing for Harry to test his powers outside the closed world of school, to confront a human adversary in a situation where magic skills may or may not be of any use, or else to use them to quell a wizard-opponent viciously seeking dominion in the muggle world.
Instead, the impetus of the Harry Potter films seems at this stage to be in the opposite direction: to retreat further from the concerns of non-magic civilians into an autistic wizard-ish universe, which will be increasingly baroque and complex and pregnant with its own self-important Tolkien-esque seriousness and “darkness”. This new Harry Potter picture will cast a spell on its fanbase. But the broomstick’s losing altitude.