Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Director: David Yates

Grade: B+

All I really need is to hear the old Harry Potter music and you can get me into the theatre. Balanced against the fact that I’m not that big on Eddie Redmayne I was however a little worried about this one.

Redmayne plays Newt Scamander who comes into 1920’s era New York with a suitcase full of fantastic beasts. Unfortunately due to the suitcase not working all that well and a mix-up some of the beasts get released into the city and Newt and friends must find them before they get into trouble.

The beasts were really well done. They were adorable and I love the message that Newt takes care of them, he releases them when he can and he genuinely believes that they aren’t unsafe but humans and magical humans just need to understand them instead of alternating between using them or killing them. It would have helped however if he had a better suitcase to keep them in.

That was only one part of the movie because it plays out against a backdrop of a whole lot of politics. Strange things are happening all over the city leading to the uprising of a group of creepy would be witch hunters lead by Samantha Morton. The Wizarding world in America is not very happy about this or keen on being exposed. There are firm rules against having anything to due with muggles here. Colin Farrell is a wizard investigator searching New York for what could potentially be a very dangerous child with the power to do a whole lot of damage.

The look of the movie is really good. I loved old New York and man can Collin Farrell wear those suits.

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One big problem for me was Tina (Katherine Waterston). The character was kind of a mess who didn’t know which way she wanted to go with Newt- actually she could have been used better in the search for the child/political storyline. I did not feeling the chemistry between her and Redmayne. I guess that relationship is canon in the book (haven’t read it) but man was it forced.

Especially because her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Newt’s accidentally assistant Kowalski (Dan Fogler) absolutely steal the show. (Well, them and Newt’s sticky pawed little Niffler.) I don’t think I’ve seen them in anything before but they were both just so damned charming. Fogler was able even to loosen Redmayne up a bit and he did wide-eyed wonder very well.
Beasts is the set-up for a series so I don’t want to give too much away. I do think they should have used Colin Farrell for the more major character that shows up at the end instead of the actor that was cast. But we’ll have to see how the rest of it plays out right?

Recommend: Yes. There were some definite issues but hopefully they can be fixed. It’s a fun jump back into the Harry Potter world and intriguing enough that I’ll be back for a second.

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