If you come to accept the Harry Potter movies less as coherent stories and more as “certain scenes of people you like doing exciting things somewhat similar to what you have read”, then they become much more enjoyable.
This is the case in point with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which boasts the dual honours of being the longest of the Potter books and the shortest of the Potter movies. As such, it’s really a case of the movie not so much lurching as sprinting from one piece of the plot to the next with absolutely no down time. It’s not exactly a collection of set pieces but it makes an effective use of montage and so forth to keep things moving.
Does it make any sense to someone who has not read the books? I have no idea. Some of it doesn’t make much sense regardless, but it’s all pretty swank to look at. This is streamlined, dramatic Potter with little waste. It misses the stuff that makes the books so special, such as Rowling’s expert structuring of drama around a school year, which actually feels as if school work is happening, but as a best bits compilation it’s admirable enough.
Bonus Corner: I noticed, as I often do, that Dudley asked of Harry “Who’s Cedric? Your boyfriend?” It’s hard to be disappointed in such things considering the context of the character saying them being totally vile. But it made me think how cool it would be if Harry were gay. I mean, the romance in the books between Harry and whomever couldn’t be written any more awkwardly than they already are. I’m not talking slash here, people. I’m talking heart-felt exploration of totally unmarketable feelings.
Also, I’m really looking forward to Harry Pottier in You Know Who’s Coming to Dinner.