Fantastic Beasts: Movie review

I had heard that this movie was coming for quite some time, but it wasn’t with excited fervor that I waited. It wasn’t a midnight book release party at Barnes and Noble. I had already experienced the conclusion of the Harry Potter series and being an avid reader have already experienced characters from other books picked up and put down by other authors. Authors that had no idea what the story was and they certainly didn’t spend ninth grade math class immersing themselves in the written word with a book hidden in their lap. What would they know about the story?

I have to hand it to J.K. Rowling for keeping control of not just the story, but the entire Wizarding universe. Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, is a blend of adventure, magic, darkness, and humor. It follows Newt Scamander (the author of one of Harry Potter’s textbooks by the same title, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them) as he arrives in New York city. He comes to America in hopes to release a thunderbird into its native habitat. However, trouble follows Scamander and his suitcase that houses his magical menagerie is accidentally switched with that of a Muggle (non-Maj, as they call them in America). It’s up to Scamander and his new friends to recapture his beasts and prove they are not behind the attacks that arise in New York city.

There were plenty of laughs, not just from the actors, but also from the plethora of CG creatures that have minds of their own. Scamander is a great protagonist. He is one of those people that connects better with animals than he does humans and recognizes that people are what we should really be afraid of. There were quite a few other characters that weren’t given the opportunity to reach their full potential, but there are a lot of people in New York and we only have a few hours to get through this story.

I also loved the setting. You’ll know that America in the 1920’s has a special place in my heart if you’ve read any of my other creative writing. My fascination with Prohibition predates my Harry Potter obsession and I enjoyed the mingling of the two. In summary, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted despite my reluctance to see this film.

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