Saturday, 15 September 2018

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

My main point of contention with the Harry Potter movies has always been their need to satisfy viewers’ expectations to include key scenes from the books, even if these do not benefit the film. In other words, it is almost always impossible to generate a 1:1 copy of a book into a film and expect that film to be a good film, regardless of how good the book was as a book. Over-loyalty to the book is a guaranteed recipe for creating a husk of a movie.
As it happens, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a husk of a movie. It also happens to be a movie taking place in the Harry Potter universe, but at the same time it is the first of the Harry Potter movies that is not encumbered by a book because no such book was ever written. Yet, despite that fact, it still manages to come out as a husk of a film through its mimicry of its predecessors.
The emptiness is firmly tied to the fact it has no plot of any worth and very little in the way of character development. All it does is present us with the hero character we heard of in those other Harry Potter books/films (portrayed by an Eddie Redmayne whose talents are grossly wasted), put him in the USA (as opposed to the otherwise British dominated universe), and pit him against a virtually random set of events that has him present us with fantastic beasts and - eventually - a baddie character that needs to be put to rest.
In other words, just as with the rest of the Harry Potter films, events just seem to happen. Our movie is nothing more than a platform for introducing us to fantastic CGI creations, and a giant missed opportunity when it comes to exposing us more to the Potter universe.
Overall: 1.5 out of 5 empty crabs.

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