Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

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Plot: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Rating: 6/10

If I could rate this movie purely on how pretty it all looked I would have rated it at an 8/10  – it looks pretty and the magic is impressive. I have a great love for the magically conjured umbrellas, it looked simply beautiful. Humour is readily available by the movie clown Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), an unfortunate human caught in a magical mess. I enjoyed seeing Colin Farrell in a film again, I feel that he has completely slipped off the radar in later years and hope this beckons a return for him. However, I am not supportive of the move of magic to America – talk about people needing a pat on the head to feel included. I really hated the No-Maj term – just NO – it lacks originality and sounds and looks stupid. Eddie Redmayne generally impresses me when I see him in something, but I was not a major fan of his work as Newt Scamander. He was twitchy and strange and lacked confidence completely. Ezra Miller was CREEPY – that is an achievement of the film as that would probably stay with me forever.

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The biggest flaw was the lack of story – Newt lands in America by BOAT – since when are we not apparating, folks? And somehow is careless enough to set loose some beasts which he tries to capture in. Throw in a female magical president (and a thorough dose of shade to the current American political landscape), Gellert Grindelwald, a badly plotted love story and some new magic terms, and you end up with a queasy mess that isn’t even close to what Potter originally was. As for the two major plot twists? The one is obvious from the very start and the second surprised me – I won’t go into detail for those people who still wish to watch it.

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Sadly, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wasn’t that fantastic. I think I love Potter too much and notice anything that doesn’t jibe with the original works. However, it looked pretty and is well acted out, which should not be ignored.

Have you seen this film? What did you think?

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