Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books as a teenager and was enamored with the wizarding world that JK Rowling managed to create. The films aren’t without flaws but they were very enjoyable for the book lovers and casual movie fans alike. The films were enjoyable for adults and children alike. Initially, I didn’t care for a spinoff or prequel to the Harry Potter franchise; I didn’t need anything in that magical universe anymore. I was of the opinion that Rowling should have closed that chapter of her life and focus on a more unique project. However, I still decided to check it out as I heard many people enjoyed this film.

I’m sad to say that I did not like it anywhere near as much as the Harry Potter films. The first hour of this film seemed so inconsequential and bland. There’s an overabundance of CGI usage to depict some of the beasts. While some scenes with the beasts look great, others looked so reliant on CG that it was distracting and takes you out of the picture. The first hour of the film focuses on introducing the beasts that escaped Newt Scamander’s briefcase. I quit the film an hour in because I was sorely disappointed with what I saw.

After getting back to the film, I’d say the film gets stronger in the second phase. Once the severity of the Obscurus is revealed the film becomes a bit darker and engages the audience more. There are still questions to be asked and I expect them to be answered in the trilogy (I’m not very fond of the idea of sequels to an unnecessary film). While the film gets better,  it still carries none of the charm and fun that made the Harry Potter films so special. The HP films had a purpose and you knew that everything was well thought out, I can’t say the same for a very uneven FBAWTFT.

I’m not the biggest Eddie Redmayne fan. He can put in a tremendous performance but isn’t in many films that I really like. He was a considerably weak leading man. Its hard to get invested in his character who is just there and becomes second to whoever else he is on screen with. Katherine Waterston is committed to her role and was one of the best features of this film. There seems to be other characters who are kind of thrown into the film to serve the plot. There are also a few easy way outs in this film. Something big gets solved by a convenient circumstance that gets explained on the spot.

This film failed to make a good impression. It has prolonged action sequences and an introduction of many new types of beasts, however outside of a few references to the HP universe the film just feels like it doesn’t need to exist. I don’t have a lot of faith in the expected trilogy but its going to exist and I pray that it is better. Right now this film is what The Hobbit was to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. LOTR was great and we absolutely did not need The Hobbit trilogy. These beasts and this films concept do not need finding.

6/10

 

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