Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Reviews
- What a letdownby 18 November 2016on
224 out of 336 people found the following review useful:
It's a letdown. The fun and charming bits of Harry Potter were left out of this film. I like J.K. Rowling's work immensely, so that's hard to say.
Plot-wise, things are a mess. Newt and his luggage full of magical creatures are a side plot to the important things going on. The real story is that an auror in New York is searching for a powerful and dangerous magical force that manifests within a teenager. His plan: turn the destructive energy the teenager carries into a weapon, I assume. Enter Newt Scamander, who is trying to transport a thunderbird(?) to Arizona for release back into the wild. Some of Newt's other creatures escape in New York, and he has to round them up, all while becoming entangled with the auror and his teenage target.
The plot sounds sort of okay, but it's not well integrated. The characters don't add up to much of anything, either. The sidekick baker is fairly likable, though, along with his brewing romance with Queenie. Newt's a bit thin as a character. Eddie Redmayne's dialog also tended to come out mumbled, which made him hard to understand at times. Throw in a few acronyms and oddball words like MACUSA, and that makes for more confusion.
Altogether, the film needed more work to tighten the story lines and make Fantastic Beasts a story focused on Newt and his menagerie, instead of what we ended up with.
- Absolute Rubbish, no story, no characters, just special effectsby 25 November 2016on
382 out of 660 people found the following review useful:
It is unbelievable that JK Rowling's name is even attached to this film.
The discipline and thought that went into the Harry Potter characters and story certainly wasn't applied to this catastrophe, which, like the Hobbit and so many other Hollywood regurgitation(s), merely seeks massive profits by piggybacking on a successful franchise while being utterly devoid of substance.
It isn't even worth going into detail. There is only one truly likable character, though you can't relate to ANY character as we know absolutely nothing about them, nor do they have any developed relationships with each other.
The entire script is built around the magical creatures doing damage to NYC, again, a ridiculous premise, as the damage is massive and there is no backlash. The complicated boundaries between the magical and non-magical worlds and people, so well laid out in HP, are completely absent. The most ridiculous example of idiotic, careless detail is that for most of the scenes on the streets of NYC, it is practically a ghost town, whereas in reality, NYC in the 1920s was nearly as densely populated as it is now. Perhaps more so, not worth it to fact check this.
And Eddie Redmayne as the lead was totally inaccessible, not engaging and half of his speech literally unintelligible. Fully one third into the movie it is finally established that he, the lead character, is closer to magical creatures than humans, but by then, not only do we not care about him or like him, but really the script gives him not ONE real relationship wherein to show forth his character. Who is he? Where does he come from? We don't know. Anyway, a horrible choice for a lead character, someone who has no emotional connection to any characters. Even his relations to the animals is explored surface level, there is no one relationship with anyone or anything that develops throughout the story and makes the audience care about the character. Only superficial plot-related details are given and there is no emotional or human life at all.
This is the same way all the characters, every single one, is treated. They are merely 2 dimensional props, there to perpetuate a plot that is mostly centered around special effects and hubris action, magical creatures rampaging here and there, and, as I said, unrealistically, going on undetected.
Literally, not one shining point to this film. Another disgrace to storytelling, devoid of all substance and creativity, pumped out of the Warner Bros fecal-making factory. Utterly disappointed.
- I liked itby 16 November 2016on
165 out of 261 people found the following review useful:
I really want to draw attention to the title of the review above. I'm sure many die-hard potterheads would want every review on this site to score this movie 10/10 and say it is a masterpiece. Well I can't do that, since that isn't my honest opinion. What I can say though is that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a thoroughly entertaining affair that is well worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of J.K. Rowling's magical world.
For starters the cast was great. Eddie Redmayne feels perfectly cast in main role as Newt Scamander. A very awkward and introverted person who prefers the company of animals rather than humans. He has the quirkyness down to a tee. I also really liked the muggle (or no-maj as the Americans call him) played by Dan Fogler. How he reacts to the whole wizarding world and the events that happen around him is actually really funny. I also thought Katherine Waterstone and Alison Sodul did great playing two sisters who wind up roped in to the whole adventure.
The creatures are the best part of the entire movie by far. They CGI on them looks kind of fake, but it's more than made up for by the concepts alone. Almost all of them have some clever twerk that keep them from feeling generic and they're all filled with personality. The sequences when they're catching these creatures are all really fun to watch.
However there are some problems with this movie. For one it has way too many side characters. A lot of them feel completely underdeveloped and add basically nothing to the overall story (*cough* Jon Voight *cough*). There's also a magical threat that becomes more central towards the end but it honestly kind of left me scratching my head. I just wasn't that engaged in that part of the story to be honest.
Still these problems are not enough to ruin the movie by any means. It's filled with wonder and creativity and being back in the world of witchcraft and wizardry is worth the price of admission alone. I enjoyed the characters, the humour and the creatures a whole lot. I also want to give J.K. Rowling huge credit for not just rehashing the Harry Potter story again. This is fresh and new and while it isn't flawless by any means it's certainly entertaining!
- Newt's Arkby 27 November 2016on
109 out of 160 people found the following review useful:
David Yates has done it again - what a terrible movie. Boring from beginning to end. J.K. Rowling just wasn't able to write a script that could live up to the Harry Potter books and universe. Fantastic? Not so much. Beasts? Sure, lots of them, but uninteresting. Where to find them? All inside a magical bag. There's absolutely no character development: we get to know very little about Newt Scamander, his personal quest, his thoughts or what drives him; Tina is just bland; and Kowalski is a comic relief that just wasn't necessary. Throughout the movie, you never understand why Newt has a "Noah complex" or why he was driven to build his own Ark of magical creatures; there's no tension, no drama involved - muggles don't know about those creatures, so they can't hate them or understand how dangerous they might be, and wizards just don't seem to care enough about them. Why exactly was Newt expelled from Hogwarts? What exactly was his relation to Leta Lestrange? We just don't know. Graves was an interesting character, but very poorly developed. Sure, he is revealed to be something more and we couldn't know too much, but we never get to understand the context in which he professes his ideology. For a movie that revolves around magic, there's actually not that much magic being used during the movie. Maybe next time they should try a movie with less special effects and a little bit more acting. The Harry Potter books were always about the narrative - well written, enticing, thrilling, focused on big existential issues, such as death, the quest for immortality, friendship. This movie was about the visual power of cinema, and that just isn't enough. Besides, a whole generation grew up with Harry Potter, a generation that actually "grew up", so a PG movie won't work.
- Do not believe the hypeby 19 November 2016on
138 out of 223 people found the following review useful:
I was excited to take another plunge into the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling. I greatly enjoyed the Harry Potter (HP) books and, despite some flaws, the HP movies.
Prior to viewing, I looked at the other pre-release reviews to determine a critic consensus and despite some minor negative feedback, the majority seemed to love this movie. I am very disappointed. This movie was terrible. Analysing any aspect of each scene reveals just too many errors in transition or logic for me to truly enjoy this film. Sadly, I felt so disconnected by its lack of realistic behaviour and logic I spent much of my time discovering more faults, such is the nature when you do not enjoy a movie.
The core story-line falls flat when compared to any HP book or movie. It lacks character and often does not make sense. Some characters are posted as the self redemption seekers and yet continually choose, knowing well the consequences, morally evil decisions. Other central characters can't seem to make any decision themselves, paralyzed by lack of reasoning. I get it, these people are witches and wizards and thus eccentric takes on non-magics. This idea was taken a step too far in this movie. America felt like it was being run by about 20 buffoons while the main characters waltz around fragrantly discharging their own laws.
Do not expect to see any magnificent, fantastical creatures here either. In every case the extent of the imagination was to take 2-4 animals in our world, smash them together and voila. Even with such a simple formula, you can count the number of creatures you see on both hands. To top that off, the CGI was bested by the first Harry Potter, again it seemed to be rushed to final production without a true critical eye.
I was sorely disappointed with this film. If not for the HP stamp I feel it would barely review as a B-grade movie, charging blockbuster prices. That HP stamp though will likely bump it higher, but please keep your critique realistic lest we cop the same treatment in the probable sequel.
- Fantastic Yawns and Where to Find Themby 27 November 2016on
232 out of 424 people found the following review useful:
J.K. Rowling should stick to writing novels. This whole affair is nothing but a huge money grab. This latest entry is a hollow shell devoid of any spirit and magic of the Potter world. In short, one fantastic yawn fest.
WB and co., you must be laughing all the way to the bank. This film is just one long 2 hour trailer. Personally, I found watching the trailer more interesting and best of all, it was free .
What made the Potter films endearing was the character development with the magic and CG as the supporting cast. You cared about the characters and were eager yet anxious about their journey in a magical world. It's the other way around in Beasts. After the first half, I couldn't wait to get away. I just hate it when I feel there was no sincere effort put forth. Yes, the wrapping looked nice but when I opened the box, I felt duped. As if on some amusement ride, the whole film was on rails and along the way, there would be occasional things that would pop up.
Don't be fooled by the current IMDb rating and glowing reviews both which are no doubt artificially inflated by the legions of Potter fans around the world. If you are a true fan then you should demand more than an illusion of what could have been. What a complete waste of the excellent cast who you could tell were just going through the motions but I blame it on the poor writing. Rowling must have written the whole thing during her 15 minute coffee break.
You know there's something amiss when some of the minor characters steal most of the spotlight or garner the most laughs- think Ice Age and that squirrel or Despicable Me and those minions. I wonder how this series can possibly be extended to 5 parts. The main problem is the film is now stuck with an unlikable cast moving forward.
WB and Rowling must take the fans to be fools or worse, they cast some dark magic that blinds them to donate money to this sorry excuse for a film. If you notice all the reviews on here, you can tell the film is quite polarizing. Most are either 10's or 1's. The fans vs everyone else not possessed by magic.
Resist the dark magic. Times are tough and your hard earned cash better spent elsewhere that is more deserving. Take it from me, a duped Star Wars fan- all the red flags are there. This film, this road. I know where it leads. And it's not to the promised land. If fantastic beasts is what you seek then this film is not where to find them.
- Magical, Mischievous and Wickedby 15 November 2016on
121 out of 212 people found the following review useful:
Perhaps the biggest dilemma you will have before going into this, is whether or not it will live up to the legend of Harry Potter. As someone who loved the series and was skeptical about Yates undertaking this endeavor, I am pleased to say that I'm relieved, As Yates delivers a refreshing and whimsical film. Sure, it doesn't have the characters we've come to love, but with the creatures you encounter and with the added humor of J.K Rowling, you will come to grip with the fact that this movie will leave an impression.
Newt is a scientist who has an uncanny resemblance to Doctor Who, as his strange and cunning outlook bares the trademarks of the epic character. Newt is searching for unorthodox creatures. As he stuffs them into his suitcase which is an accident waiting to happen. The suitcase seems to be unhinged and dire need of a proper lock. As he arrives in New York he mixes his bag with Jacob Kowalski, who lets loose beasts that start to run rampant in the streets. J.K. Rowling's first outing as a screenwriter is a wild success, with her keen eye for detail and whimsical taste. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" becomes a fine addition to her epic saga. I'm glad that there are four more awaiting us because if Rowling proved anything, it's that she has a lot more to offer.
- Disappointmentby 14 December 2016on
55 out of 81 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic beasts and where you find them. Well Not somewhere interesting. In fact, some place that is pretty scattered and incoherent, and very much boring.
What is this film actually about: a. A story of a muggle who happens to get a glimpse of a magic world? b. Of a journalist who tries to preserve the variety of magic animals? c. An auror, who lost her job and tries to claw her way back? d. An unhappy kid who possesses the most destructive powers? e. "The bad guy" with a very sinister, however just as much unclear agenda, in the face of Johnny Depp who makes a 30 second jaw-dropping appearance as a blond?
This film has no story, no core. You know, where you can trace a dramatic structure: some kind of problem, rise, climax and ultimately some kind of solution.
I, as HUGE fan of JK Rowling, am very disappointed to have witnessed this cinematographic cacophony. Not even Eddy Redmayne or IMAX experience could save it for me.
- Do you like going to the zoo? That is the question ...by 18 November 2016on
59 out of 95 people found the following review useful:
Although I was a fan of the Harry Potter series, I had no preconceived notions or requirements for this stand-alone movie, other than an expectation that J.K. Rowling would not disappoint.
Nonetheless, I was disappointed. The first half of the movie is basically an overlong visit to a CGI-created zoo. We watch as the protagonist hunts down a half dozen or so "fantastic beasts", mostly one at a time and in extended chase sequences. If you do not enjoy visiting zoos or watching car chases (which have the same dynamic as animal chases, no matter how exotic the species), you may be bored. I certainly was.
The second half of the movie is more engaging, as loose strands from the first are finally woven into a conventional good vs. evil morality play. But even here, virtually every turn in the plot is easily predictable, as Rowling uses the same pro- Muggle/anti-Muggle dynamic employed in the Potter series to define her characters, plus an ironically preachy lesson in the harmful nature of organised religion. Fortunately, the actors, particularly the good guys and gals, are able to overcome the limitations of the script so that I couldn't help but like them and cheer them on. The cinematic recreation of early 20th century New York is also well done.
However, on the whole, I think Rowling is capable of better work than this. For movie-goers content to be dazzled by special effects, this film may do the trick. For those who want more than a formulaic "Hagrid saves the world" knock-off, the film will probably seem much longer than its two hour running time.
- Harry Potter's Universe Without Potter is Just as Goodby 17 November 2016on
107 out of 196 people found the following review useful:
The magical community in Britain has been fleshed out rather well through the seven Harry Potter books and the eight films that followed, but America's magic users have been pretty much overlooked.
The year is 1926. In the midst of the dark wizard Grindelwald wreaking havoc in Europe, an unassuming man travels to New York City with a case full of, well, fantastic beasts ( a case which goes full TARDIS, as well).
There's also an unknown magical threat tearing up streets and striking fear in the hearts of the nomaj (non-magical, US term for muggle) community. The Magical Congress of the United States is searching for the culprit, and who do they blame? The unassuming man, Newt Scamander, a role that Eddie Redmayne fits into perfectly.
With the help of Tina Goldstein, a disgraced Auror, and Jacob Kowalski, a nomaj who gets caught up in Scamander's creature exploits, they must clear Scamander's name and find out who is behind the attacks in New York and stop them.
This film has a lot going for it, but it really holds up as an installment of the Harry Potter franchise in the way that it showcases the allure of the universe without the old story of The Boy Who Lived. It is also buoyed by great visual effects and witty banter throughout.
This will prove to be just the first of possibly many films in the Harry Potter universe (and yes, Johnny Depp does show up as Grindelwald), and if this film is any indicator of the wonder this universe instills, I can't wait for more.
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