Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) ★★☆☆☆

Harry Potter and the Chamber of CGI. 

Studying magical creatures from all around the globe, wizard, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has a little trouble when some of his creatures escape to New York City, causing mischief in all shapes and forms. So that the wizarding world is not exposed to the public, he must save them, fast.

Based on the screenplay by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in 1920’s New York City for the most part. In hope to enlighten audiences with how magic is treated when meant to be concealed, the film contrasts against previous Hogwarts’ ideologies. David Yates returns to the director’s chair a little rusty in the first spin-off to the acclaimed Harry Potter franchise. Perhaps since this instalment wasn’t based on a book, there were many issues within. It’s a shame that the screenplay wasn’t as polished as Redmayne’s shoes.

It takes a film such as Fantastic Beasts to make one realise that the CGI troll in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone wasn’t all that bad. The film’s biggest issue lies in its CGI; the peculiar beasts look far from fantastic, as the title would lead you to believe. A critic would be under the influence of alcohol to call these visual effects “impressive”. It often looked cheap and cheerful. Eddie Redmayne doesn’t disappoint with his theatrical acting style, though his role feels all too similar to David Attenborough, seeking for creatures that are soon becoming extinct. All of the laughs sprung from Dan Fogler’s performance as Jacob, who may as well have had a one-man comedy show; sadly his character had no relevance. Colin Farrell’s villain was poorly thought out, and doesn’t present the audience with the nervous premise that good villains so rightly achieve.

Filled with forced romances, Fantastic Beasts relies heavily on weak narrative cliches. Lazy storytelling makes the film feel like a senseless cash grab, knowing that the Harry Potter name will target a big audience and even bigger bucks…The film industry is only emphasising its deficiency for commendable proposals. Without an ounce of soul, it’s bound to have difficulties matching  up to its predecessor. To anticipate another four films like this, one must be barmy.

Bored cinema-goers continually checked their watches, only to find they had been watching for as little as half an hour. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them suffers from defying any sense of ‘movie magic’, and what is striking is how bland the whole concept truly is. Played too safe, with too many beasts, each scene is overcrowded in an embarrassing attempt of cinema.

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8 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) ★★☆☆☆

  1. “A senseless cashgrab” is exactly what I expected this to be, which is why I have yet to see it. It’s a little disappointing having this in mind, because I love most of the Harry Potter films. But this one was clearly made in order to milk another beloved franchise for more money. Such a shame. Excellent writing, as always, Georgina!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Top Ten: Worst Films of 2016 | Film Reviews

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