What The Film!? – The Harry Potter Franchise (2 of 4)

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What The Film!? is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the general fuckery Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.

If you know a film with major plot holes or those that make you scratch your eyes out, tell us! Email utgjames@gmail.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.

Part One

It’s the exciting continuation of our editorials on the long-running/hella-crazy-successful Harry Potter franchise. Two movies a week, for four weeks. Normally we’d just kind of say that all plot holes/inconsistencies/problems can be shrugged off by saying “I don’t know, magic?” but us here at Under The Gun Review can’t leave well enough alone and want to ruin it for everyone. Us included. This was our childhood too, you know.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The third movie in the franchise begins with Harry escaping his foster family’s home and discovering that a large dog following him. This dog shows up many times during the movie, and it’s frightening to Harry, as if having a large dog follow you around wasn’t the the greatest God damned thing in the world.

Obligatory picture of my dog.

It gets revealed that a magical murderer has escaped the wizard prison of Azkaban, and he’s seeking out Harry Potter. When told not to seek out Sirius Black, Harry questions “Why would I look for someone who wants to kill me?” I don’t know, Harry. To further the plot? The past few movies, you haven’t done much, and it’d be a welcome change of pace for you to drive the story this time.

Due to Sirius’ escape and search for Harry, the school is guarded by Dementors, which are basically Ring Wraiths from Lord of the Rings except they can suck your soul out of your body. Dumbledore warns the students that the Dementors are only there to watch for Sirius, but informs the school that they shouldn’t “give [the Dementors] a reason to harm you”. In this movie, they introduced a new actor to play Dumbledore, and it shows. This Dumbledore is almost a completely different character and with that line, is a victim blamer. When a student gets their soul sucked out, he probably asks what they were wearing.

“Black robes? It’s like they were begging to get the Dementor’s Kiss

As it turns out in one of the last sequences of the movie, the new Defense teacher is a werewolf, Ron’s pet rat is actually a weird old man who went into hiding, and Sirius was only trying to protect Harry from the rat-man, who is the true perpetrator of Sirius’ crimes. Despite learning how to paralyze and levitate in the first movie, neither of these incredibly helpful spells get used when taking the rat-man back to the castle to prove that Sirius is innocent. They just kind of let him walk there on the honor system, where of course he escapes when the Defense teacher becomes a werewolf, because when you discover someone you trust is a werewolf, you completely forget when full moons are. The worst part about that is that Hermione is basically the only person in this franchise that does anything well and thinks of almost everything, but she completely forgets the importance of full moons when you know a werewolf. Of course she would look up the moon cycle, she’s Hermione.

At the same time, it’s revealed that Hermione has a “time turner”, which is literally a time machine. They rush to save a few assorted things, which they do as quickly as possible, despite having a god damned time machine. They don’t think to use it to get the rat-man when he escapes, or to use it to prove Sirius’ innocence, or to do anything important. At the end of the movie, Harry says to Dumbledore “None of this made any difference”.

No. It didn’t. You literally had the power to change anything you wanted, you saved Buckbeak and decided to never use this power ever again. “What if it were locked up after the movie?” Harry has broke more important rules worse for lesser reasons.

“Lets completely forget we have this power and never use it ever again, even when main characters need saving”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This movie starts with the Quidditch World Cup, which Harry ‘n’ friends arrive via Portkey, a magical item that transports people to different locations. It is better than the Floo Powder, because you can transport a group at once and you can prevent misspeaking and showing up in the wrong location. The problem with Portkeys is that they can travel to one location. That’s all.

The Quidditch World Cup is treated like a the Soccer World Cup, and after the game, it ends the exact same way: a riot. Except instead of hooligans stabbing people and lighting cars on fire, it’s the Death Eaters (Voldermort’s army) destroying everything, assumedly to find Harry. Luckily, he escapes, despite Hermione’s insistence to yell Harry’s name and reach out at him the entire time they were under attack. I understand that they’re close friends, but it seems like she’s trying to get the Death Eaters to concentrate on him, so she could escape.

“HARRY! HARRY POTTER! HARRY JAMES POTTER! BORN JULY 31ST, 1980! SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER FIVE FOUR ONE DASH NINE-“

The titular “Goblet of Fire” turns out to be a flaming cup that chooses the best possible students to compete in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, an old Olympic-esque tradition that was recently un-canceled. Only students of a specific age can submit their names to the Goblet, and only three will be picked (one from each of the three schools participating).

The three schools participating are Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; run by new Dumbledore, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic; run by Olympe Maxime, and Durmstrang Institute; run by Igor Karkaroff (a former Death Eater who looks like if Wayne Coyne was mixed with any Call of Duty bad guy).

Igor’s entrance to Hogwarts was in a gigantic hamster ball following an explosion of confetti.

As luck would have it, after the three schools get their Triwizard Tournament picks from the Goblet (Cedric from Hogwarts, Fleur from Beauxbatons, Victor from Durmstrang), the Goblet decides to spit out a fourth name: Harry’s. New Dumbledore loses his shit. He chases Harry and starts violently shaking him asking if he put his name in the Goblet. New Dumbledore has none of the compassion of the prior Dumbledore and is a victim blamer. Harry is literally afraid of New Dumbledore. Dumbledore is the most lighthearted and giving person in the franchise: no one should ever be afraid of him.

Despite Harry being underage and this situation giving Hogwarts a huge advantage (as they have a 200% more likely chance of winning), no one decides to do anything about it. “This is a legally binding magical contract” it’s stated. At the very least, they could have let the other schools get a second player. They decide to put Harry in harm’s way, because to hell with him.

Trent Reznor is not amused

Over the course of the three trials, Harry repeatedly forgets to use magic. Hermione has to remind him multiple times to use his wand, despite the fact that it’s a magic tournament, and he’s only allowed a wand. This incredible crucial and important element he keeps forgetting.

Once Harry gets to the end of the final trial (a maze), he finds out that the Goblet at the end of the maze is actually a portkey, taking him to a cemetery where he witnesses the rebirth of Voldermort. The whole reason he was put into the tournament was to get to this Cemetery  After a brief fight, Harry witnesses approbations of his parents, and then uses the portkey to get back to Hogwarts. Why would they make a trap for Harry that allows him to get back to where he came from? This isn’t even an oversight, as this would be something they would have to go out of their way to enable it to be a portkey that allows a this feature.

Once Harry touches the portkey, which takes him back to Hogwarts, someone takes the Goblet away from him and doesn’t get transported away. That means that at some point, when creating the portkey, the person doing so had to chose that this portkey can do a round trip and then never be used again . It was a conscious decision to make this portkey go both-ways only once before shutting down instead of making the portkey a one-way-trip. Someone had to get a avada kedavra for that mistake.

Once back at Hogwarts, Harry tells New Dumbledore that Voldermort is back alive, and what/why he was rigged to be in the tournament. Dumbledore asks Harry for some damn reason, if he saw his parents. Since Harry’s wand and Voldermort’s share the same core, they merged and caused the last four people Voldermort has killed (being Cedric, Harry’s parents, and the old man he killed at the beginning of the movie) to briefly appear. After telling him this, Dumbledore decides to inform Harry that no matter how badly he wants his parents back, he solemnly tells him “No spell can raise the dead, Harry”.

“Well, unless it’s Voldermort. If you want to resurrect Voldermort, its totally rock and roll McDonalds.”

Tune in next week for Part 3! Same Bat-time! Same Bat-UTG! You can follow Dane on Tumblr and Twitter!

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  • Zeyu

    Dude, where’s the review?

  • Randall Mckay

    Does everyone write like the people over at Cracked.com now? Sarcasm and a curse word or two should get their attention, huh.
    No substance, no style. If I were a GODDAMNED gorilla, four thumbs down.

  • At least in the first week, you gave a review. In this, you just sarcastically insulted every thing. Also, did not bother to tell us what you actually thought about both films over all.

  • Well he did used to write at Cracked, so…