I must admit that when I heard that Eddie Redmayne was cast in a magic movie called Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them, for some reason, I was sure it would be a movie like Jupiter Ascending that wasn’t promoted as much as you’d think with a cast including the aforementioned golden boy, Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. Well, Jupiter Ascending sucked for sure so I guess it’s justified. But Fantastic Beasts was promoted heavily both in USA and in Europe. Anyway, I went to see the movie on the premiere night and, not being a huuuge Harry Potter fan, I decided to be openminded and just give it a chance. And I know that my brother would be like “How can you write a review on a movie when you’re not fond of the genre?!” but I firmly believe that I can write anything I want, while I cannot expect everyone to agree with me and my reviews.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a Harry Potter prequel about the British wizard Newt Scamander who arrives in New York in 1926 with his briefcase filled with magical creatures. His arrival in New York is followed by a number of incidents as some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape his briefcase, which could lead to trouble both for wizards and for muggles (I can’t call them No-Majs, I’m sorry!). There’s just one thing… Newt’s creatures and his briefcase are just a side plot to the real problem in the movie: a powerful and magical force that manifests within a teenager in order to turn the destructive energy into a weapon.
Before I start babbling about my opinion on the movie itself, I have to say something about Eddie Redmayne and his performance because, usually, I’m a big fan and he was the reason why I watched Fantastic Beasts. But boy, was I disappointed. His portrayals of Stephen Hawking (in the first part of the movie), Lily Elbe and Newt Scamander are totally identical! Every movement is identical and, although Eddie was phenomenal in The Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl, he disappointed me greatly in Fantastic Beasts – not because he played badly but because he is always the same in every movie. I enjoyed Dan Fogler as Kowalski much more in this Harry Potter prequel!
Back to the plot – I think it was okay but not even close to the Harry Potter movies that are filled with magic. You feel distant to the characters and they aren’t properly introduced, so you kinda have to guess who they are at the beginning. The movie was way too long and I literally fell asleep for 5-10 minutes, and the only “WOW”-moment I had was when Johnny Depp was introduced and I was all “OMG, it’s Johnny Depp!”. Other than that, I think it’s a below average movie that is overly hyped and comparing it with Harry Potter should be a crime. All in all, I will give it 2 out of 5 clapperboards for an okay storyline, great casting and an awesome title but, despite popular opinion, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a boring movie with lack of real Harry Potter-like magic and too much digitalization. Let’s hope the sequel will be better…