I’ve noticed that my latest series of reviews has been lacking in content over the last few weeks, so here I am, hoping to revive it. I’ll continue where I left off, with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which is the 3rd film in the series.
Harry Potter 3, surprisingly, continues where Harry Potter 2 left off, with Harry living in Little Whinging with his Aunt, Uncle and Cousin. They get visited by another Aunt who frequently helps in making Harry’s life a nightmare. Well, she ends up getting inflated and floating away. Harry, being the cause of this, decided to run away and avoid the consequences of his actions. He flees to London, staying at the Leaky Cauldron, which is a wizard pub. There he finds his school friends and they all acquire their school gear before heading off to Hogwarts. Whilst there, Harry has to deal with Bogarts (shapeshifting beings that want to scare the hibbijibbies out of people), Dementors (beings that suck the happiness out of people, before trying to remove their souls) and the ever elusive Sirius Black, who turns out to be innocent of crimes which he was imprisoned for, including the murder of Peter Pettigrew, who turns out to be alive, in the form of Scabbers, Ron’s pet rat. Pettigrew, it transpires, betrayed Harry’s parents to Voldemort, causing their deaths. Harry, being all nice and such, decides to spare his life, solely to allow them to clear Sirius’ name, so that Harry can live with him (Sirius is Harry’s godfather). Obviously, it all goes wrong and Pettigrew escapes, fleeing to Voldemort. Harry and Hermione then end up going back in time to save Sirius, in the process saving Buckbeak, which is a Hippogryph who attacked Malfoy earlier in the film (with good reason). Sirius ends up escaping, riding Buckbeak, before Harry and Hermione return to where they were when they went back in time, confusing Ron who has a seriously injured leg. The film moves to Harry conversing with Remus Lupin, who was a friend of Harry’s parents, discussing the futility of what Harry sparing Pettigrew’s life, before we move on to the Great Hall, where Harry finds that he has been sent a gift. Inside the packages in a Firebolt, which is the ‘fastest broom in the world’. Attached to it is a Hippogryph feather, telling Harry, Hermione and the audience that the gift is from Sirius. The film ends with Harry flying the Firebolt around the castle skies, the speed of the broom being almost unmanageable as he vanishes into the distance, his face warped with the speed. *Roll Credits*
Right then. Long summary over, lets actually review shall we?
As far as the plot goes, it’s not actually that bad. We get introduced to the new characters progressively, whilst also getting an important scene from film 7a prepared (More about that later 😉 ) There’s a few scenes where it becomes obvious what’s going to happen as well as a few that allow the minds of the audience to provide humour. I distinctly recall a few memes flashing through my mind throughout the film, such as the ‘I’ve seen enough Hentai to know where this going,’ as they attempt to enter the tunnel beneath the Whomping Willow, and the various ones that occur outside the Shrieking Shack. Humour definitely helps to make this one of my favourite films in the series.
The acting is pretty much the same as before to be honest. Very few changes or additions. The role of Sirius Black as played by Gary Oldman is brilliant. He displays madness with apparent ease, straying from lucidity in barely any time at all.
The special effects definitely improved for this film, showing off the advances made during the time. I’ve always said that if you want to see how such effects have improved, watch a long series. Harry Potter is perfect for this. allowing us to see the improvement in just 10 years, let alone the last 40 (vast improvements in BOTH time frames).
Favourite scene? Well, I’m quite partial to the one where we meet Sirius properly, in the Shrieking Shack. The whole scene works well, even if it does display my pet peeve for the Potter world. As I’ve mentioned it, I’ll elaborate. Spell Incontinuity. The most common spell we hear said, is Expelliarmus (sp?), which is supposably a disarming spell, yet we repeatedly see it stunning people or knocking them off their feet. Would it really hurt for it to do the right thing, just once?
Rant over, I thoroughly enjoy this film. I heartily implore you to watch it if you haven’t. Last words? Enjoy!