Review of newest installment in the massive “Harry Potter” series, but this time it shows us the wizarding world of America
By Carter Bagley
Having grown up on the “Harry Potter” movies, I’m very familiar with the hype surrounding them. Personally I’ve never been as big of a fan as many of my peers but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching some of them. In fact I really love about half of the series, but the other half doesn’t thrill me enough to not consider myself a big fan. However a couple years ago JK Rowling announced she was making a film series based on the small guide book titled “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” and considering at the time the final “Harry Potter” film had already come out and marketed as “the last installment”, so I thought it was a little bit of a sell out. Though just about a year ago details started sprinkling in about the movie saying it was about the wizarding world in America and it took place in the 1920’s both of which we haven’t seen before in the franchise. Also I’m a fan of a lot of the actors in the film like Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell and David Yates returned to direct it. Yates was definitely the director who consistently made the best films in the series and he does a great job at directing this one as well. The visuals and the editing and directing are the highlights of this film, it’s in the writing where the flaws become apparent. Not necessarily writing the characters as many of the characters were great especially Redmayne’s Newt Scamander who is a very likable and human protagonist. It’s the pacing and story of the film that I found to be disappointing. J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay herself and despite crafting a cool storyline and mostly fascinating characters I don’t think she did the best job. The main antagonist of the film didn’t catch me the way the “Harry Potter” films did even though the idea of an “Obscurus” was very fascinating. The main idea is that if a wizard’s powers are suppressed long enough, their power manifests itself as a parasite that becomes dark and evil. Despite the idea being surprisingly cool and original it comes off as cliche and tired in the final product, almost like those scenes were shot as a cliche modern horror film. Ezra Miller does a great job with the material he’s given and so does Colin Farrell who seems very seedy the entire film. I’ve heard a lot of praise for this film and I have to say I can’t share it but I will say I enjoyed watching it and found it very entertaining. If you’re a fan of the franchise you’ll probably have a very great time watching but if you’re not there’s not really any reason to go rush out and see it. Overall it was a decent set up for a new saga filled with interesting characters and fresh ideas and I’m still curious to see where the next films take it.