The Potterverse crosses paths with a medievalbestiary in J.
Rowling's latest creation, Fantastic BeastsAnd Where To Find Them.
Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers, it's Jan here! Set in 1920s New York, Fantastic Beasts presentsan incredibly detailed world full of beautifully designed locations and creatures.
From banks to department stores and speakeasies,you can really see the care and attention given to every last little visual aspect ofthe movie by its production designers, Stuart Craig and James Hambidge.
Of course, it's hardly surprising that thispart of the film shines so brightly as Craig has vast experience in the world of wizardsand muggles, having designed all of the Harry Potter movies.
And Colleen Atwood, who's worked on everythingfrom Edward Scissorhands to Arrow, also does a spot-on job designing the character's costumes.
The beasts of the title are pretty impressiveas well, with brilliant visual effects bringing to life some intriguingly magical animals,even if one of them is very clearly going for the whole Baby Groot vibe.
I especially enjoyed the lovely scene takingus around magizoologist Newt Scamander's menagerie.
And there's also some delightful effects workwhen it comes to magic too, with a particular favourite of mine involving a dinner timetreat.
I know that many in the audience for FantasticBeasts will already be fans of Harry Potter, whether the movies, the books, or both.
But as this film takes place in a differentera and location to Harry's adventures, acting as a sort of prequel to them, you could actuallystill follow the story of Fantastic Beasts without knowing anything about the world ofthe famous young wizard.
Though fear not Potterheads, there's plentyof easter eggs in the movie for you to track down! In fact, there is an awful lot going on inthis movie, some of which I can't help but feel could have been saved for the secondof the five planned films, with any time left over from that being better spent on morecharacter development.
This is author J.
Rowling's first time in the screenwriter'schair and obviously, as the first film in a major franchise, Fantastic Beasts has todo a good amount of world-building work, not only introducing new people and creatures,but also concepts and backstory crucial for future development.
However, there is one particular subplot herethat feels rather underdeveloped and largely superfluous to this film's story.
And there are moments that could have beenneatly edited out without losing anything in either the story or character development,and some of those moments are there just for a throwaway gag even when they don't maketotal sense within the film's world, for example, the short exchange between one of the character'sand her landlady.
Still, overall, Fantastic Beasts is enjoyable,and I preferred this film to the first in the Harry Potter series.
As the film puts lots of building blocks inplace for later intrigue, there's plenty here for future development, and I'll be interestedto see how the saga continues.
As for the cast, Eddie Redmayne is suitablyeccentric and endearingly nervous as Newt, who's a cross between David Attenborough andDoctor Who's title character, and whose fantastic beasts escape from his leather suitcase, itselfa mix between Mary Poppins' carpet bag and the Doctor's Tardis.
As Wand Permit Office-worker Tina, KatherineWaterston gives a spirited turn.
While Alison Sudol is wonderfully sweet asher sister Queenie, channelling a mix of Some Like It Hot-era Marilyn Monroe and Renee Zellwegerin Chicago.
Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob, a No-Maj, whichis American English for Muggle, enjoys appealing on-screen chemistry with both Sudol and Redmayne.
And Samantha Morton puts in a calmly crueland creepy performance as Mary Lou, the leader of a group that wants to eradicate witchesand wizards.
While as her adopted son, Credence, Ezra Millergives a wonderfully delicate, emotional turn.
And in the role of Percival Graves, directorof Magical Security at MACUSA, Colin Farrell proves quietly menacing.
To sum up: Fantastic Beasts And Where To FindThem is a real spectacle with gorgeous design and visual effects as well as a strong cast.
Story-wise, a little too much is crammed intothis first film of the franchise and, at times, plot is privileged over character development.
Still, the film is mostly entertaining anda promising start ripe for lots of future elaboration.
So, I'm giving Fantastic Beasts 3 and a half out of 5 Flicks.
Now, what did you think of Fantastic Beasts? And which are your favourite beasts in themovie? I'm looking forward to reading your commentsbelow! I've got a spoilery Fantastic Beasts videoon the way about the movie's deleted scenes and sequel talk, and I've also got a reviewof Moana coming shortly.
Click or tap on either of the links here tosee those.
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Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers!.