From Harry’s fourth adventure on, the books were going to get a lot longer and a lot darker. The movies could only get darker as the story progressed, and to handle the longer issue, there would be much trimming to be done to the storylines. Looking at the trailer, it was obvious the films also tried to make up for not being able to match the books’ new length by making the movies as DARK as possible.
Considering that the fifth book is my least favorite, its cinematic counterpart doesn’t bother me as much as you would think. They leave a lot of the important parts in–the dementor attacks, the trial, Kreacher, The Weasley twins leaving, Grawp, thestrals, Dumbledore’s Army. They did their best, I think. But there is some serious weirdness that they did not need in the film that also ate up time. Montages of Filch trying to catch the kids in the Room of Requirement and the over exaggeration of Umbridge’s 100+ Educational Decrees were pretty unnecessary. They could have easily used that time to fit in Quidditch, development of Ginny, more relationship time between Harry and Sirius, or (my personal wish) a longer flashback into Snape’s memory to actually introduce the young Marauders, Lily, and Snape.
Oh, well. Not all was lost. The fact that they actually included Kreacher when they had completely cut out Winky in the film before spoke well to me. Evanna Lynch is absolutely divine as Luna Lovegood (proof in my mind that these characters were made to be played by true fans). The acting of the trio improved, as it always did, between films, and the dynamic between Rupert and Emma came across well.
The screenwriting of Sirius was completely stinted as usual. The fact that he shouted out “Good one, James!” just before he died was an overt and shameless attempt to convey the subtlety of how Sirius really saw Harry. The books spent pages and pages on internal thought on that subject. In the movie, it just made Sirius seem not in his right mind right before he died, sort of an injustice to his death and his character.
I will say that the Dumbledore-Voldemort duel was very satisfying. Both actors committed to their characters and their mindsets, and the special effects were beyond anything we had yet seen in Harry Potter.
There has also never been Peeves in the films, thus no Peeves for the Weasley twins to command, “Give her hell from us.” But still, their exit was pretty memorable.