Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (12A)
On his way to Arizona, magizoologist Newt Scamander stops off in New York. A Niffler escapes from his magical suitcase and in his attempt to retrieve it Newt meets a few new friends and stumbles upon a powerful magical threat. All the while, the dark wizard Grindelwald grows in power.
This is very much a review I didn’t want to have to write, but unfortunately I have to. I hated Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. I really really hated it. I despised everything about this film, apart from The Niffler, The Bowtruckle, the brief appearance of Zoe Kravitz and Colin Farrell being sinister. Aside from that everything about this film was nauseatingly awful.
The Harry Potter films thus far were good (not as good as the books though), but they missed the flair and spark that J.K. Rowling’s prose has. With Fantastic Beasts, J.K Rowling had penned the screenplay and so I expected a truly great film, but instead I got a cobbled together, lazy, cynical cash-grab. And this hunk of garbage is part one of a five film series. Did no-one learn anything from The Hobbit Trilogy?!
The structure of the film’s narrative is that of a generic video game from the mid-2000’s. There is a magical beast somewhere, Newt has to go catch it, there is a magical beast somewhere else, Newt has to go and catch it, etc etc. The plot of Fantastic Beasts for the first interminable hour and a half is basically a game of Pokemon Go! The last forty-five minutes is basically a generic superhero movie ending… a big glob of CGI nothingness rampages around New York, trashes a bunch of stuff and there are no consequences to this whatsoever.
The problem with the original eight movies was that they never did an adequate adaptation of a series of brilliant books. My problem with this film is that it doesn’t have the look or feel of something penned by Rowling, it looks like Michael Bay wanted a go at making a fantasy film. This film was an upsetting watch, it was two hours and thirteen minutes long and with each passing moment I felt my childhood love of the Harry Potter franchise dying.
Two final things: If you want a dark character that you are supposed to feel sympathetic towards, don’t get Ezra Miller to do a Kylo Ren impression.
Secondly, who thought it would be a good idea for Johnny Depp to be in this film? Why is he still getting hired? Why is a man who (allegedly) beat his wife getting work??
My final note is: I am still a Potterhead at heart and I still love the Potter books. Just because I hated this pile of tosh doesn’t mean I’m one of those people who have decided to be excessively critical towards Rowling and her books, because hatred of Harry Potter is suddenly in vogue. I don’t like those people, they are smug and obnoxious and (like this film) they can get fucked.
It’s awful. I’m awarding it one star because of The Niffler, but just to clarify I did hate this more than X-Men Apocalypse.
J.K. put the whip down and step away from that dead horse!