Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, the fourth in the series, contains a lot of firsts. It's the first of the films to be based on one of the dictionary-sized later books. It's also the first of the films to be rated PG-13, the first to be helmed by a British director, and the first film without composer John Williams. With all these changes, I'm happy that Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire is actually a good movie. While there are definitely some issues to be found with this film (including a pretty major one), the performances are good and the action is excellent.
Each of the Harry Potter books/films has Harry dealing with problems on multiple fronts and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire is no exception. Harry is plagued by a recurring dream involving his nemesis Lord Voldemort and when The Death Eaters (followers of you-know-who) wreak havoc at the Quidditch World Cup, it's evident the Dark Lord may be on his way back. Despite this, Hogwarts is chosen to host The Triwizard Tournament, an international event where wizards from three wizarding schools will compete against each other for "eternal glory." Although it's never mentioned where the other two schools are, it's clear that they are probably in France (Beauxbatons) and Bulgaria (Durmstrang). Only students 17 years of age and older can participate and they must enter by placing their name into the magical Goblet Of Fire. When the names are selected, everyone is surprised when a fourth name pops out...that of Harry Potter. Even though he is underage, he must participate since his name was chosen and this leads to more trouble for Harry.
Like the previous films, the presentation is top-notch. The special effects are great and even the short Quidditch World Cup sequence is gorgeous to look at. The film moves at a brisk pace, but does feel a bit sloppy at times. Patrick Doyle has the unenviable task of following up John Williams's excellent scores for the first three films. He does a pretty good job for the most part, even if his contributions aren't all that memorable.