Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Reviews

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September 20, 2017
I wasn't that hyped when I heard that they were making Harry Potter spin off movies. I loved Harry Potter as a pre-teen and teenager. I was the right age when all the movies were coming out, as well as the books. I loved how they were dark, adult, and took kids seriously. I liked how the characters grew up with me, the reader. I'm not really a fantasy person, and didn't think I'd like the films, or the movies, but I did. I've even been to the theme park. When the last film came out in 2011 I thought it was a good conclusion. Everything was wrapped up, and it was sad to see the franchise leave, but it was awesome while it lasted. And the fact that we knew it was going to be finite raised the stakes even higher. But now with the spin off movies the whole Harry Potter franchise just feels unearned. I guess it wasn't really going to end after all? For some people this made them happy, but for me it made me bitter. Like just end already! Can't we have a franchise that ends?! Why do we need to keep resurrecting things from the dead? Life doesn't work that way! I went into the movie with low expectations. I didn't like the premise, and didn't really like the cast. I can say that even my low expectations weren't met, and that someone needs to put the Harry Potter universe out of its misery.
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What's the movie about? That's a hard question to answer because it feels as though it's about so many things at once. There's an evil religious cult, the main character wants to save and rescue these magical creatures from some sort of persecution we never get to see, and there's a flimsy "mixed race" relationship between a muggle and a wizard. How do these all relate? They barely do.

The film does that whole X-Men thing where it's supposed to be a metaphor for race. Like the muggles vs the wizards. Like why do we, the more superior beings, have to live by the human rules and hide. #NoMoreHiding. To prove that racism and sexism doesn't exist in their world they have a black woman president. I'm so tired of the trope where people of color are in high positions of power to show racial diversity, and that it's a post racist society, but none of the main cast who get the most screen time and lines are people of color, they're all white - Octavia Spencer in Divergent for instance. They kind of stopped doing it in the Hunger Games, and those teen dystopias where all the villains where white women... but I guess they did that because they were evil and didn't want the POC to be evil?

As a side note, I guess Mr. Poe and all the POC guardians in Unfortunate Events are good visual representation (besides all the adults being incompetent), but still they die and it's only to show they live in a post racial reality. But they still address women's issues, so it's not a post feminist world...? ANYWAY, back to Fantastic Beasts. The main character's (Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne whose performance is actually pretty good) goal is to humanize the fantastic beasts he finds (that don't have a language), but what about the house elves?! House elves are prevalent throughout the film, but aren't they magical creatures that need protection? What about the giants, centaurs, and goblins? Aren't they magical beasts?! Heck, aren't wizards technically magical beings. Where do they draw their version of the color line? I guess it's with language... because the animals can't talk, but the elves can so they should be equal with wizards, but aren't because of their color line. But goblins in the film seem to be doing great despite them looking like elves. Is there passing in this society? This would be a real racial metaphor, but instead they opt for other plot lines. There's another color line because in this time period muggles can't marry wizards. And that's the relationship they focus on.

The story telling is basically all through exposition in the film. Save for some scenes where we see people's memories. Film is supposed to be a visual medium, but rarely do we get scenes that allow that. They never show the beasts that are supposedly being persecuted being persecuted. They just say that they are, and we have to take their word for it. It's the whole man is evil story and we're destroying nature. Which is true, but show it! Don't tell us. And I guess the plot line with Redmayne being a beast tamer and the obscurist mesh somehow because an obscurist in a magical creature that is being persecuted, but it's hard to tell because we never discovered the definition of "fantastic beasts."

Also if the film is going to be a mystery about evil religious cults be that! Go into the dark characters' past and their lives. Don't go from happy to sad happy to sad. Harry Potter was dark admittedly, but it knew what it had to be. This was all over the place just trying to set up a new movie and the ending is long winded. JUST END ALREADY! The random politician died randomly just to show that the obscurist was evil because it killed a muggle. And they tried to make a Citizen Kane reference for no reason! We didn't feel anything at all for the character that died.

If it's going to be about a no maj wizard relationship do that. But stop going back and forth. The cult is kept in the shadows for a twist/reveal thing, but that's the most interesting part of the movie. Newt's story line about finding the beasts that are lost in NYC is boring, the CGI is really bad. You can see the green screen hanging in the background. Nothing looks real. I couldn't suspend my disbelief.

Lastly, the main character barely got any back story. In the end nothing really even gets revealed about him. Only through some sloppy exposition we know he got kicked out of Hogwarts, but Dumbledore likes him. And Newt has a mysterious ex partner who was part of the Lestrange family. Ok?

It's all just a messy prequel to lead up to the next five movies. I don't know what they'll be about, but I'm not holding my breath. And we know they won't help the house elves because even 80 years later they're still enslaved! I think what's sad about this new franchise is that it ruins Harry Potter. This sloppy mess being associated with such a great film series actually makes me dislike the new movies more, and romanticize the previous films. I don't know if that was intended, but just bring back Harry Potter to the big screen for a re-release or something if you need money. Overall, I give in a 6.5/10. If you're a diehard Potter fan and just want more of the universe, you'll like it, if you want something as good as the originals, it's not there.
½ September 14, 2017
Beasts 1. Hoomans or muggles or whatever they are - not so much.
September 14, 2017
Newt is a refreshing male lead. I'm thankful that there is a kind character that doesn't need to "toughen up" and instead uses his empathy throughout the movie.
September 13, 2017
I honestly loved this movie. i think Eddie Redmanyne is a warm and engaging hero. I'm disappointed that so many people see his kind, empathetic, and delightfully different character as weak and without character. Just because he's not Harry Potter, willing to fight at any point, does not make him any less a hero.

It's a gorgeous movie, and if you're looking for a new, different type of hero, this film delivers.
½ September 13, 2017
Solid addition to the Harry Potter world, with very likeable characters and a good storyline to match!
½ September 11, 2017
was never into the Harry Potter franchise, but I feel like this wonderful film serves as an idiot's guide to understanding it. now after watching this wonderful film which I had low expectations for. I'm ready to give in to these great concepts because once this film began I was very interested in the content forming a new found respect for the hype surrounding this franchise to which at first I didn't understand.
½ September 11, 2017
Pretty darn good. I loved the different creatures and much better than the Harry Potter series. Looking forward to a sequel.
½ September 11, 2017
Boring from beginning to end. Cold cast. Subpar acting. Same ol' tricks and overused CGI characters and effects. I even struggled to finish the movie. I guess what I'm trying to say is, utterly forgettable!
½ September 10, 2017
As a new addition to the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts exists as a somewhat separate entity, taking place years before the events of the previous 8 films but, as of yet, not featuring any characters that we've met before. However, it's probably best if you have seen at least some of the previous Harry Potter films as Fantastic Beasts uses a lot of basic spells, magical lingo and makes references to a lot things without offering an explanation. Eddie Redmayne makes for a likeable, sympathetic protagonist but the star of the film by a long shot is Jacob, played by Dan Fogler, a rather bumbling non magical person or 'no mag' who is amazed by what he's stumbled into and brings a bit of comedy and heart to the film. However one of the biggest issues with this film comes from the name, with a title like Fantastic Beasts, you'd expect to see more of them. There is a wonderful sequence when you see Newt's little sanctuary of magical creatures but it was quite brief and the focus of the film was more about Colin Farrell's character Percival and Credence, a beaten down character played by Ezra Miller. I also have an issue with the ending of this film, which I won't spoil, besides a predictable twist ending it also ends on a dark, sad note which is glossed over very quickly and left a bitter taste in my mouth about certain characters. I'm not sure this bodes well for the beginning of a new series of films but as a stand alone it's a harmless popcorn flick.
September 6, 2017
This fantastic addition to the Harry Potter franchise brought subtle humor, a sophisticated cast of characters, and brilliant performances by every single one of the actors. It's lovable hero played by Eddie Redmane shows complexity, courage, and a quiet kind of drive that should make this movie an absolute classic and not just for fans of the franchise. The writers and directors did something really bold with these unconventional heroes and it deserves to be watched.
September 4, 2017
A brilliant world created by the Master Jk Rowling
September 4, 2017
9/1/2017: A pretty decent movie, but not near as good as the Harry Potter films.
½ September 4, 2017
Best Harry Potter movie without Harry, himself, being it. The movie don't compare to the Harry Potter series in the slightest and it is better off for it.
½ September 3, 2017
I couldn't stay awake to watch the movie and I tried 3 times. I think that says it all. This has only happened to me a few times before. Steel Magnolias, both Ace Ventura's and all Harry Potter movies. In my opinion (which we are all entitled to) more drivel from a woman who became a billionaire writing drivel. I would like to see something different from her. A great imagination and fine writing wasted on this.
September 3, 2017
I liked this one. Took place before all the other movies. Main character reminded me of a possible Doctor Who.
September 3, 2017
Serious high hopes and found it to be a tad lackluster.
September 2, 2017
Not sure if there was a actual plot to follow?
September 1, 2017
can wait for second part.
August 31, 2017
Loved it. Fits perfectly in the Fantastic Harry Potter universe. But, of course, there's always more to explore in this territory. Can't wait for a sequel.
August 30, 2017
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is fun, funny and full of heart. It's absolutely a blast. The film genuinely feels magical and ranks up there with the better of the Harry Potter films, I'm excited to see where this prequel series takes us
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