DVD Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I can’t stand Harry Potter. I really can’t. I don’t understand why millions of people love the little idiot, but they do. And good thing really because without Harry I have no doubt that we would not have Newt Scamander. I like Newt, he’s not an annoying little boy. Now thanks to the power of Google I can tell you what you probably already know, Newt Scamander is the author of the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a text book at Hogwarts that is first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them could more or less be summed up by Sting’s English Man In New York. Newt is having the briefest of stop overs in New York after scouring the world for fantastic beasts to rescue and write about, and he keeps a whole menagerie of them in his suitcase. Yes, that’s right, Fantastic Beasts is one part Dr Who, one part X-Men and one part prohibition era New York.

Things go wrong from just about the first step Newt takes on American soil, shortly after arriving he bumps into a no-maj and gets his magical case mixed up with Jacob Kowlaski’s, setting off a series of unfortunate events that lead to calamity and hilarity. And of course the secret society of magical policemen.

It’s hard to put a finger on what makes Fantastic Beasts such a great film. It’s brim full of fun and excitement as well as some magical CGI, but I think it comes down to Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Newt that manages to cast a spell over you, causing you to in-explicitly fall in love with his character the very second you meet him.

I’ve little doubt that Potter fans will wet themselves with excitement at all the secret references to the world of magic that they’ve fallen in love with that no doubt populate the film, but for a hater like me, I can honestly say that whilst I will never fall in love with Harry and his gang, I absolutely love the chaotic fun of Newt and his beasts.

Rating: M Violence.



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