Books · Movies

Movie review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

What can I say? I have free time again, I’m catching up on watching movies. Who can blame me? Now, even though I lost interest in the Harry Potter series half way through, I was curious about Fantastic Beasts. Honestly, at least part of this was because I’d heard that the costumes were beautiful. Don’t judge me – I don’t need an excuse to go to the cinema anymore.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Image credit: Vimeo

Unfortunately, I was hoping for costumes that were slightly more dapper when I was told just how dapper Eddie Redmayne looked. I’m starting to suspect that the person who told me might have a crush on him (naming no names). I’m less convinced, but, you can’t just go to the cinema for the fashion anyway… apparently.

Now, I gave up on the Harry Potter books after Goblet of Fire and I gave up on the movies after Prisoner of Azkaban. I have not read the book. Clearly then, I am not the target audience, so perhaps my opinion should, therefore, be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. So, here it goes: While Fantastic Beasts had some fun parts, and I’d definitely take kids to see it, I still don’t quite get why it would be so widely appealing to adults.

Redmayne’s character kind of annoyed me, playing up to all the standard stereotypes of the awkward, bumbling English toff with a heart of gold. That does seem to be kind of his thing, though. On the other hand, Katherine Waterston was much more entertaining as Tina and I enjoyed the dynamic between Dan Fogler’s Muggle (or Nomag) character and the mind-reader played by Alison Sudol. Oh, and if they ever make a movie to tell Seraphine Picquery (President of Magical Congress in the USA, played by Carmen Ejogo) I’ll be first in line to see it.

Apart from the odd fun bit, though, I wasn’t convinced. The gags are either slapstick or of the, “you’ve got something on your face” variety and while the beasts in question are quite beautifully rendered, I didn’t feel like I was watching something at the forefront of current CGI technology. Perhaps it worked better in 3D.

The most fun I had was playing with the title. I think my favourite version is “Fantastic mad wee beasties.” Yeah, it’s not a high bar.

Well, I did warn you. I’d heard good things and people seemed to be enjoying it so I figured it was worth a shot, but I think I’ll probably skip FBaWtFt2 when it shows up in 2018.


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