Movie Poster
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Alfonso Cuarón
Daneil Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon
141 min.


It is better than the first two. Credit that to the decision to enlist a real director to the project. Alfonso Cuaron has a good eye and the good sense to keep things fast and slick. And fast they are, these things, and slick, too, until the plot starts developing. The plot then slows everything down. But the plot is twisty enough to be interesting in its own right. Or rather, it was one more good twist away from being a good twisty suspence movie, independently of being Harry Potter. So J.K. Rowling dropped the ball, maybe they're planning the twists for the sequels.

Aside from the much noted darkness, this is clearly aimed at older kids. References are made to (jokes borrowed from?) Monty Python and Army of Darkness. It is true, usually kid movies include jokes for the parents, but I don't imagine many Harry Potter parents would pick up on the Evil Dead reference.

With each passing year Malfoy Drake looks more and more like fascism-era Bowie, but now he's unexpectedly sniveling. Sniveling is good in moderation, but it should usually lead to something else. Right, I know, the sequels. There's nothing wrong with making a series out of complete movies, though.

Pat Jackson