Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has returned with the new tentpole franchise set in the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, and it is a definite so-so film.
There were plenty of moments and things to enjoy about the new film, but there are just about the same amount of things I did not like.
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) was a wizard from England who was traveling to New York City with a magical suitcase filled with fantastical creatures that Newt is trying to save and preserve. Unfortunately, some of the creatures escaped from the suitcase and caused chaos in the non-magic world. He gets himself into trouble with the Americans and an agent named Tina (Katherine Waterston), who pursued Newt. Newt meets up with a muggle named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) who is surprised by the world he did not know existed.
Ok, let’s get into it. What I liked. I actually loved Jacob Kowalski. I enjoyed just about everything from him, and I also liked the mind reader Queenie (Alsion Sudol). Their relationship was sweet and forbidden, and I wanted to have more of them. Eddie Redmayne was good, but he was so quirky as the character that was a little challenging. Colin Farrell was good as our resident villain, Percival Graves. There were some interesting aspects in the story, especially about the American Wizard community. The differences between it and the Wizard community that we already knew was cool.
I did have some emotional moments during the story. The humor was good at times, but I do not remember much of the humor (outside of the giggle drink).
What I didn’t like. I really disliked Tina as our main female protagonist. I did not like her character at all. She was very annoying and weak-willed. I wanted her to go away. I so preferred her sister Queenie. Nothing against Katherine Waterston because she is a solid performer, but I just did not like the way she developed.
I also thought that the beasts were all forgettable. None of them were interesting and I did not think any of them were great CGI. The CGI is not terrible, but none of it stood out as amazing and a couple weeks after Dr. Strange really makes these beasts look down. Maybe if I was more of a Harry Potter fan these monsters would mean more, but they do not.
I was not a fan of this movie’s ending. It had a feel of a deus ex machina. It seemed to be lazy writing. The whole Ezra Miller story line was out of place in this movie for a lot of this film, considering it was one of the main arcs of the movie.
I think that if you are a die hard Harry Potter fan, you will love Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. I am only somewhat of a fan of Potter so the new film was only okay. I did not hate it, but I came out of the film feeling conflicted. I wanted to really love this. It was not bad. That’s the best I can do.