Year of Release: 2016
Director: David Yates
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Josh Cowdery, Ron Perlman, Johnny Depp, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Jenn Murray
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
View Trailer Here
View Trailer Here
David Yates has had a very successful career directing J.K. Rowling's film adaptations of her Harry Potter series (he directed 4 of that series). "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is Rowling's first original screenplay, and follows the adventures of a small character in the Harry Potter books, the awkward and squeamish Newt Scamander. The film introduces a series of new characters from this universe quite rapidly, and sets its hero on the quest to protect magical creatures, while simultaneously giving him a non-magical and a strong female counterpart (and potential love interest) sidekicks. The film is successful in exploring the dynamics of the magic world versus the mundane one, however where most of the Harry Potter films exhibited some restraint in terms of the usage of visual effects to depict that universe, this film is almost hyperbolic in that regards. The creatures are always present, there's always too much happening and competing for attention. It's definitely a well oiled machine that has produced this film, which includes a great cast with Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston (from Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"), Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton creating interesting characters, while the cinematography from Philippe Rousselot is beautiful. It's an interesting first film, hopefully the remaining ones will find a better balance with character and story development.