Movie Review – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Fanstastic Beasts PosterThem

Directed by David Yates

Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, and wow, that really was Ron Perlman.

Backstory

Because Harry Potter made ALL the money, you just knew that Warner Brothers wasn’t going to let the franchise die once they’d finished adapting all the books.  So they sat down with JK Rowling to come up with a spinoff.  The end result?  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Casually mentioned in the Harry Potter books as the premiere textbook on magical animals, Fantastic Beasts will follow the adventures of its author, Newt Scamander, as he travels the world documenting said fantastic beasts.  And now here we are, the first of this proposed five film franchise is in theatres.  All I know is, here, finally, is a Harry Potter film where my Harry Potter-lovin’ friends can’t give me heck for not having read the books first.

Plot

New York City.  The 1920s.  Newt Scamander arrives with a magic suitcase full of his fantastic beasts.  But, a mix-up on a street with muggle (or, as Americans call them, no-majs)named Jacob Kowalsky sees some of his beasts accidentally released.  Before long, Newt and Jacob are teaming up with a disgraced Auror named Tina Goldstein and her telepathic sister Queenie to track them down.  But, there’s doin’s a transpirin’, as dark forces seek to tear down the boundaries between the Wizarding World and the No-Maj world and conquer the No-Majs.  Scamander’s escaped beasts present the perfect opportunity to expose the Wizarding World…and Scamander, the perfect patsy.  Can Scamander and his newfound allies round up the beasts and clear his name?

What I Liked

When my friends tell me about Harry Potter, I tell them, “I wanna see the Men in Black of the wizarding world…those who are sent in to cover things up when wizard affairs start infringing too much on the muggle world,” and my friends are like, “Dude!  Those exist in the books!  They’re called Aurors!”  So it’s nice to see the Aurors and who they are and what they do.  There’s lots of cute magical creatures conjured up through CGI.  And we do get some intriguing new characters.  I liked Queenie.  After watching the movies, I said before how enamored I was of Luna Lovegood and how whimsically odd she was.  Queenie borders on an adult Luna.

What I Didn’t Like

Sadly, our hero, Newt Scamander, isn’t one of those intriguing new characters.  I like that he’s kind of shy and timid, but that gives us little opportunity to get to know him.

Final Verdict

A very fine franchise starter.  It was fun.

3 Nibs

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