[REVIEW] Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them
Director: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell
All right people, so the Harry Potter world finally got extended years after our Wizard boners started going down to a half-chub! That's right, I saw Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them!
This movie did an excellent job making me jump back into the world of magic with no hesitation (and no condom), and it was amazing! Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamader who is a wizard from England coming to the US to buy some illegal tigers and shit (or something like it). His character is a lovable and powerful magician who gives off all of the best rapey vibes! The whole time you're thinking "I really want some Newt in me, but I can't tell if he's autistic".
Dan Fogler plays a "No-Maj" (muggle) that is actually one of the best characters in the movie! There are excellent visuals combined with an elite cast an even some dope plot twists. Although the storyline can be somewhat difficult to follow they bring it to an excellent conclusion!
Rating: Overall, I give this movie 5 out of 5 giggle shots!
The film starts with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne doing his best impression of 1990s Hugh Grant), an awkward yet charming magizoologist, coming to America toting a briefcase full of magical creatures. But there's a problem: the damn thing pops open every 5 minutes. GET A NEW BRIEFCASE, BRO. Or use duct-tape or something. You're just asking for trouble. Jump to... Things get out of hand when Newt accidentally switches briefcases with cartoonish Harvey Keitel… sorry, I mean "typical 1920s New-Yorker" Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler of Balls of Fury “fame”). Kowalski is a No-Maj (the American term for "muggle" or a non-wizard), who unknowingly takes the briefcase home, where it opens, allowing these asshole creatures to get out and destroy New York City. But most of them are cute, so it’s OK.
Anyway, Newt and Kowalski spend a good chunk of the movie trying to track down the beasts, all the while being followed by a witch and former officer of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA) named Tina, who is also awkward as hell. Bumbling hilarity ensues. Tina initially wants to turn Newt in to impress the higher-ups, so she can become a full-fledged agent again, but she soon falls for Newt’s “I’m so dumb, I’m cute” shtick and decides to help them. Also, Tina has a sister named Queenie (1920s NYC, amiright?) who is a witch with Legilimency, which means she can read minds and emotions. Queenie is adorable, and is smitten with the No-Maj (and constantly sweaty) Kowalski because I don’t know why.
The gang then runs afoul of the sinister Percival Graves (Colin Farrell, of course), the Director of MACUSA and a (presumably but obvious) Dark Wizard who wants to bring wizardry into the human world through force. He spends a lot of the movie being a dick and (creepily/uncomfortably) manipulating a teenage boy named Credence, played by The Flash… I mean Ezra Miller. Graves believes one of Ezra’s younger siblings to be a wizard who has garnered a very dark power (called an Obscurial). An Obscurial is formed when a wizard spends years attempting to suppress their natural, magical abilities. Obscurials are very destructive, temperamental and even deadly, which takes a large toll on the host wizard (they never live past the age of 10 years old). Graves wants to use the Obscurial to wreak havoc on the No-Maj world. Now, it’s up to the gang to save Credence from the Dark Side and thwart Graves’ evil plan.
There is an overlying story about a dangerous Dark Wizard named Gellert Grindelwald who (also) believes wizards shouldn’t have to hide underground any longer, and wages a war on humans and wizards to bring magic into the No-Maj world (Sound familiar?). This leads to rampant fear and discrimination towards wizards and magic in the United States. Without spoiling too much, this is the set up for the next film and I’m sure the entire series.
Final verdict: I know I gave a snarky synopsis, but I legitimately enjoyed this movie. I was never a fanatic for the Harry Potter films, but I’ve seen them all, and this was a really fun, albeit dark AF, prequel. There are even a few harps to the Harry Potter stories (when they mention Albus Dumbledore, I thought everyone in the theater was going to money shot all over the screen). The beasts are truly fantastic against the backdrop of post WWI-era New York City. Redmayne is charming as Newt, and Dan Fogler might be one of my favorite side-kicks ever. I could listen to Kowalski do his high-pitched “Ha!” after a shot of Giggle Water over and over again.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Goblin Ron Perlmans