Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them - 4 Stars
I had my trepidations about the cinematic return to the world of Harry Potter, but this is truly fantastic!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
There was so much hype surrounding this movie and often that leads to having expectations that the movie simply cannot exceed. However, the film is a really enjoyable movie. First time screen-writer J.K. Rowling has crafted interesting and dynamic characters, she writes intrigue well and her mix of humour and darkness blend well together. Director David Yates (who was a guest on a July podcast) has taken the best elements of his Potter films and created a visual masterpiece for the viewer to enjoy. You could easily say that this is the best use of GCI in the past year.
The cast are great, they aren’t Harry, Ron and Hermione and that’s ok. I’d have been very perturbed if they had attempted to write “stock” characters based on the original 3 leads. Eddie Redmayne is charming and charismatic as Newt Scamander, while Alison Sudol steals her scenes as Queenie. Dan Fogler is excellent as Kowalski and I can’t wait to see more of his work, as he rises into the spotlight. Colin Farell and Ezra Miller were also strong in their roles, while Katherine Waterson’s character was annoying.
Overall it’s got great visual effects, a riveting storyline and a strong cast. Even those who’ve never seen Harry Potter will love this film!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay Screenings courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas & Roadshow Entertainment