‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ (2016, 12A)

Does the first of J.K. Rowling’s spin-off ‘Harry Potter’ movies mad of magnificent magic or woeful wizardry?

The quiet and elusive ‘magizoologist’ Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrived in 1926 New York in the hope of a relaxing time after his expedition studying the magical creatures that inhabit the wizarding world. But, after an encounter with a non-magical man named Jacob Kowalski in a bank, he soon sets off an adventure to reclaim his missing suitcase — and the magical creatures that inhabit it.

A lot of people would’ve had very high expectations going in to see this film, and I purposely tried to stop myself from this as I knew that if I did I’d be disappointed. With that in mind, this film is exactly what I thought it would be — mediocre. This film is not so outstanding that I’ve already pre-ordered the DVD, nor is it so poor that I need to write a long series of paragraphs outlining its many weaknesses.

The cast all gave good performances, and I especially liked Redmayne as Newt Scamander as he portrayed the shy and lovable protagonist very well. The characters all very much resembled those in the main ‘Harry Potter’ films — the hero male protagonist who’s new to the wizarding community, the comic-relief best friend of the protagonist, and the serious and intelligent witch to complete the trio.

For those eagle-eyed ‘Potter’ fans out there, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ has the odd reference to the main series. Also, the film does appear to be a slightly more tied-in to the main films than I first thought, which I’m personally not a fan of. I think this film would’ve coped just as well without the name-drops and character references asI felt they just weren’t necessary. I won’t get into too much detail about these so as to avoid spoilers, but I’m sure most will agree with me.

Overall, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is a reasonable film, and I’m sure most hard-core ‘Potter’ fans will love it. However, for me, it lacked anything to bring it much above average, meaning I’ll have to settle with an eight-out-of-ten for ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’.

8/10.

 

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One thought on “‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ (2016, 12A)

  1. Another great review Jack although the FT’s film critic was a bit more taken with the film than you were, he thought Eddie Redmayne was the weak link! Apparently it’s the first of a possible 5 films on this theme so the producers-and J.K. Rowling-will be hoping for a few rave reviews about this one.

    Keep it up, it’s always a pleasure to read your reviews.

    Vic Shirley

    Like

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