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Fantastic Beasts – Review

First impressions on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

My first thought about this movie was what it was going to be about. I imagined this crazy guy’s case being opened and a whole bunch of creatures flying out Jumanji style. While that was only partially true, there was some serious dark stuff going around that drew everyone to Newt (main character) and to find his missing animals. Yes, some of them got out. But none of them were behind the dark magic that’s always present in the Harry Potter films.

This particular story actually takes place before the time of Harry Potter. We learn that Newt was expelled from school due to a similar incident when his creatures escaped. Now he’s come to the Unites States in order to finish some business with one of his prized possessions. That, however, cannot come to pass when he’s abducted by a young sorceress, who’s only intentions are to gain her title back as an investigator to the wizarding community.

As luck has it, Newt unintentionally befriends a non-mage (or Muggle) when his briefcase containing all his creatures gets switched while searching for his lost creatures. Not only does he have to track down the case, but find the ones causing mischief and stealing valuables from purses and store windows. While the unlikely heroes team up to track every creature down, they are constantly behind watched and end up in some sticky situations involving a death chamber and the real killer stalking the streets of New York.

Move over, Voldemort! Enter Grindelwald!

SPOILER ALERT! (don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie yet)

With everything that happens in the movie, I honestly forgot about Grindelwald. Turns out, he wasn’t even the one behind the destruction on the city. But he sure as heck tries to obtain its power.

Thanks to Johnny Depp, who briefly plays the part at the end when we realize he’s been using illusion to alter his appearance the whole time. Now we see who you really are!

What I Loved About the Movie

The creatures were amazing! A lot of imagination went into building believable species that could fill whole rooms or shrink to the tiniest corner. It had that Avatar affect, when you finally emerged into a world that shouldn’t exist. And yet it somehow does.

Newt’s world was created inside his briefcase. Sort of like in Dr. Who, “It’s bigger on the inside…” type thing. Yeah, the world of Harry Potter is famous for this.

Tons of action. Non-stop. Yet it still had these down-to-earth moments where you could take a breather and enjoy the scenery. I’d have to watch again just to take it all in. So much detail goes into sets and costumes. And I love how Newt was able to eventually use some of his creatures to help him out of traps and good-cop-bad-cop chases.

My Movie Rating 

4 out of 5 stars. I neglect the fifth star just because of the way the dark power and antagonist plays out. I get what he was after, but when he realizes the power is not where he thinks it is, he just screws himself up. Dumb move, buddy! Not that we know who it really is, but I hate when characters reveal themselves all too soon as the jerk that’s going to foil the protagonist’s plans until the end of the movie. Someone just slap them early on, please!

Comical and witty, this movie is great fun for family entertainment. Would recommend and see again!

 

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