Fantastic Beasts and where to find them
Village Southland - Wednesday 16 November 2016, 9:00pm
Running time: 133m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Fantasy themes and violence)
Release date: 17/11/16
Rating: 6/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 3.5/5)
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York City in 1926 with a suitcase full of magical creatures... as you do. A mix-up with suitcases results in bumbling wannabe baker and 'no-maj' (read 'muggle') Jacob (Dan Fogler) finding himself with the suitcase. They're pursued by 'auror' Tina (Katherine Waterson) to turn them in to the Magical Congress of the United States of America (read 'Ministry of Magic'), but she soon discovers there's a more serious threat to them all, and it's Newt's fantastic beasts that are required to solve the problem.
A bit like a hybrid of the Harry Potter novel and films and Pokémon Go, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them is the first in a five-film series which stands alone but also provides an extended backstory to the Potter universe. Special effects are great, the music is good and the performances are ok (Dan Fogler steals every scene he appears in) and it's a film that will have great ap peal to Potter fans old and new. There's a fun story here, but there's not quite enough plot to sustain the full 133 minutes. Parts of it seem far too slow, and there are frustrating inconsistencies in what they can and can't solve with magic. It's an origin film that will ultimately sit as part of a broader story, and there are tantalising threads of the backstory that will be picked up in future instalments. The millions of Potter fans will flock to this, but we found it an enjoyable yet unsatisfying offering.
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