16 November 2016 | sossevarvo
Magical, but very different, successor to the Harry Potter sphere
I wasn't sure what to expect from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It smelt curiously of "cash grab" since the Harry Potter films managed to conclude themselves quite perfectly, all the more so considering Warner Brothers preemptively announced four sequels before this film had reached theatres. The best compliment I can give it is that it proved me wrong- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them never feels lazy, or cheap - it's a worthy adventure that will have all but the most cynical revelling in the wonder of the Wizarding World.
The film is fast paced and constantly dishing out new surprises, in the form of beautifully rendered, inventive CGI "beasts," and a number of hilarious, imaginative features of this magical world of New York that successfully create the illusion of being in a different world. There are tons of minute little details that delight in the purest sense. The set of new faces are mostly agreeable, the most likable being Dan Fogler, whose bumbling "non - magi" is a welcome addition. He elevates sometimes silly jokes with expert comedic timing and facial expressions. Katherine Waterston is fine enough, as is her flirtatious sister. And what of star Eddie Redmayne? He is alternately charming and annoying. The character of Newt Scamander is one fully realised by Rowling's script, yet Redmayne's Hugh Grant- esque, crouched delivery is at times grating. Nonetheless he wins you over in the end. I won't say who the villains are, because that plays into the intrigue of the plot, but suffice to say villainous characters were decidedly underused for my taste, and could've used far more development than the already packed script granted them.
In all, this film never quite touches the awe and great characters imbued within each Harry Potter film and book, but it offers many delights nonetheless, and is definitely worth seeing, especially on a big screen, where it looks positively beautiful.