Synopsis: This spin-off of the Harry Potter franchise jumps back in time to explore the wizarding world of 1926 New York, which is being threatened by both mystical acts of destruction and a group of extremist No-Majs. Author Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in the city as part of a global study of fantastic beasts, but he gets caught up in this conflict when some of the magical creatures in his briefcase are accidentally released.
How dangerous is it to come in New York with a briefcase full of magical creatures ? Newt Scamander will learn at his expenses. Fantastic beasts and where to find them is a new fresh adventures exploring the charming wizard universe that J.K Rowling made us fall in love since 2001 with the first Harry Potter movie ( Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone). The franchise now over, today in 2016 the fantastic beast series are ready to take the challenge of relaunching the saga in a different approach and period other than the famous adventures at Hogwarts of three teenagers (Harry, Ron and Hermione) known to bring problems wherever they go within school. Could Fantastic beasts try the challenge? Can the series have the same success than its predecessor? Fantastic beast and where to find them is for sure a good start but the magical universe is not so radiant as it was back in the first movies.
Magic is in the air, but where to find it ?
There is one thing you need to put in your head before going watch this movie. Newt Scamander is not Harry potter and he is very far away to be likable like him. The zoologist main character of this movie seems completely lost in the magical street of New York. Moreover, for someone who has the complete trust of Albus Dumbledore, Scamander does not present the charism and intrepidity that his reputation is revealed at the minister of magic. He is certainly courageous and has a lot of knowledge concerning magical creatures, but he is also naive and very stunned, which makes the first act of the movie uninteresting at the first sight. However, the second act will keep you back in track because it is at this moment things are getting serious. Fantastic beasts is well-named because you will realize watching a movie where magical creatures have more development than most of wizards main characters. The hunt to find the magical creatures in the magical landscape of New York is definitely the best moments from this movie. The second plot of the movie focusing on the “obscurus” terrorizing the No-maj New York is also a great addition to the production and realization of the movie and the audience will greatly love the plot twist.
I applaud the director David Yates for bringing back some magical stuffs from the wizarding world of Harry potter. The attack of the “obscurial” looks very familiar to the imperius curse that Katie Bell had in Harry Potter and the half blood prince scene. J.K Rowling and him have obviously made a good job trying to connect the magical world of Harry Potter and the magical period of 1926. The fans and pottermore will be delighted of hearing a Hogwarts reference for example. The unique and lovely capacities of Scamander’s magical creatures are one of the sequences making enjoyable this movie. The CGI, editing and details of every power they possess from the adorable Niffler attracting and stealing golds, the mantis Bowtruckle, the African creature named ” Erumpent” to the gorgeous Occamy, which is a mix of a bird and dragon are well produced. Credence (Ezra Miller) plays a complex and creative vilain in this film. Bringing back some important social issues that face most children nowadays (maltreatment, bullying, manipulation….), Fantastic beast and where to find them could be one of those movies that make you feel empathy to the antagonist, which is a good part knowing that everyone gets his own side of the story. Beside the main character, Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson) are the characters greatly portrayed. Each one of them has a past experience and backstory that would affect in somehow the plot of the movie, and it is definitely a great addition to the first and second act of the plot. The movie may not be fun or entertaining from the beginning until the end, but the ending will make you want to discover more the world of Fantastic Beasts.
Fantastic Beast and where to find them is a good movie. It is a good intro for the series, but nothing more, nothing less. You will feel excited at first, then passive during the middle and finally entertained during the plot twist. The challenge is met by the studio, but there are still more works to do in order to be a masterpiece like its predecessor.