Movie Reviews

Published on November 15th, 2016 | by gareth


Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Attempting to continue the phenomenal literary and cinematic successes of the Harry Potter series of books and films is a daunting task for anyone to undertake. Even when series creator J.K. Rowling Rowling is involved, many would shy away from such a monumental taak.

However when you consider the books, movies, and merchandise have become a billion dollar industry and that rabid fans cannot get enough of the word that Rowlings created, it is not surprising that Rowlings and Warner Brothers have created a new cinematic series inspired by a story contained within the original book series.

In “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, audiences are introduced to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who is just embarking on his adventures which will later be turned into books that Harry and his friends will read some seventy years onward.

Set in 1926 New York amongst the secret community of wizards and witches; the film follows the arrival of Newt in America as he has come with a suitcase filled with magical creatures. When a non-magic user named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), accidentally mistakes the suitcase for his own and unleashes some of the creatures, chaos follows.

The timing of this mishap could not be worse for the magic community as magic users have lived in secret and the arrival of Nate and his creatures threatens to expose them and make a bad situational even worse.  Further complicating matters are a series of events that have caused destruction in the city which has given rise to a group who are convinced that witches are amongst them and must be destroyed at all cost.

Being an unregistered magic user; Newt,  is soon taken in by an agent in New York named Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), who herself has fallen out of favor within her community of magic users. In time; Newt is taken into custody by Percival Graves (Collin Farrell), who not only seems to have a disdain for Newt, but is working with a member of the anti-witch group for his own ambitions.

Newt and his friends soon find themselves on the run as they attempt to gather the missing creatures and get to the bottom of a much bigger and more dangerous menace that threatens their community as well as the people of New York. What follows is a journey filled with magic, comedy, and danger that will delight fans.

The film is a pure delight and the Potter magic has continued in this highly-entertaining new series. The cast and characters are very enjoyable and the visual magic is wonderful to behold.

The story is filled with charm and humor but has a few nods to the previous films as well as a few surprises along the way.

I was easily swept up by the madcap adventure and cast that all gave solid performances.  Never once did the characters  let the dazzling array of visual effects overshadow the fact that this is a character driven story.

Redmayne and Fogler work very well with one another and the innocent fish out of water story that they both embark on makes them easily endearing to the audience.

It will be very interesting to see where the future films will go, but if this one is any indication of what is in store, there is plenty of magic left in this world and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

4.5 stars out of 5.



About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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