'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' brings magic of wizarding world back to screen
November 30, 2016
In 1926, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) comes into New York City with a suitcase full of magical creatures. Unfortunately, some of those creatures happen to escape when Newt runs into a muggle named Jacob (Dan Fogler) and gets their suitcases mixed up with one another. With magical creatures on the loose, tensions are high between the wizarding community and muggle (or No-Maj referred to by the English).
The ever so talented J.K. Rowling once again has written and brought forth our next installment of this wonderfully creative and entertaining universe that has captivated millions all around the globe. I was also very pleased to see that they brought back director David Yates as well, who has previous directed some of the "Harry Potter" films (and will also be doing the future films as well). Together, they once again bring the entertainment and wonderment to the big screen.
This entertainment and pure wonderment, I think, has always been the biggest selling point of the "Harry Potter" franchise. "Harry Potter" and now "Fantastic Beasts" offer, through the brilliant writing of Rowling, such a unique and creative world that we can’t help but be sucked in a state of childlike wonder. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" was no different.
The visual effects, along with the action sequences, were right up there with what we have been accustomed to with the previous films. If for no other reason, see this film for the adorable magical creatures. I guarantee that you will want some of them as pets by the time the film is over!
Now that we have established that this movie is on point with its visual effects and its creativity, how well does it stack up in other categories? Well…I think that if you are a fan of the earlier "Harry Potter" films, you will like this movie a lot more.
However, if you are more of fan of the darker and intense later "Harry Potter" films, then you might leave wanting a little more. This film definitely has an early "Harry Potter" vibe to it. "Fantastic Beasts" is very light-hearted for about 90 percent of the film (there is a darker side plot that leads into future films but that isn’t necessarily the main focus throughout the film). So whether this sounds like a good thing to you or bad thing to you, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Now let’s get into the biggest flaw, and this might be something more personal for me that a lot of people might not agree with. I was not sold on Eddie Redmayne and his portrayal of Newt. Yes, this man won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the movie "The Theory of Everything" and then was nominated again last year in the "Danish Girl," but I am still not sold on him yet.
I felt as if every other character in this film carries Newt. He was surrounded by a very lovable and talented cast that delivered and yet I felt nothing from Redmayne. I mean, his character was fine, but he just lacked depth and strength that you want in a main character. Redmayne just wasn’t a "Harry Potter" in this film. That's my opinion, so please feel free and disagree with me.
Overall, "Fantastic Beasts" is another successful J.K. Rowling film that once again brings the magical wonderment to the big screen.