You have to wade through six paragraphs of stalling before getting to the meat of Leo Lewis‘s first-anywhere-review of Harry Potter and The Order of The Pheonix (Warner Bros,., 7.11) in the London Times, but he finally gets around to calling it “a solid, occasionally spectacular set-piece that struggles unsuccessfully to give us thrills and fun we have not already had in previous installments.”
In short, it’s another big lumbering under-achieving tentpoler in a summer season that has seen two or three of these before…shocker!
Lewis also notes that Pheonix “is far crueler than its predecessors and begins to introduce properly the idea that we are no longer in an amusing magical playground, but are en route to an epic confrontation with real victims. But overall there is a shortage of those joyful little glimpses of the wizarding world’s furniture that punctuated and perked up the previous films. The fifth — and longest — book on which the film is based plays a crucial but faintly turgid role in the saga.”