Saturday, 26 November 2016
#78 FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantah Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Ron Perlman and Colin Farrell. Written by J.K Rowling. Directed by David Yates. Budget $180 million. Running time 133 minutes. Cert 12a.
Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne, arrives in New York in the 1920s with a battered old suitcase and promptly collides with wannabe baker Jacob Kowalski, Dan Fogler and his own suitcase and before you can say, 'gosh, what are the odds of two men from different sides of the pond both having the same suitcase meeting on the same day in the same bank for completely different reasons?' the poor old Kowalski has unleashed a world of terrifying monsters on the, er world, like some sort of portly, male, Jewish Pandora. Meanwhile Samatha Morton's Mary Lou Barebone, who's the head of an anti-witchcraft cult and her adopted son, Ezra Miller are ranting about mysterious goings on in and around old New York and various members of the New York magical community including Colin Farrell's Percival Graves, Katherine Waterston's Tina Goldstein and others fill out the cast of thousands with their own agendas and missions.
After that, it's monsters, magic and muggles (here called No-Majs) all running round the city while Eddie, whispers and gurns through it all pointing his pointy stick at things and muttering oh so quietly.
This looks great, the special effects are superb and very well realised but I'm afraid i found the whole thing less than magical and a lot less enjoyable than the Harry Potter movies. And the main reason for this is the lack of wonder, or children and it makes you realise that what made the Potter films so enjoyable was the children battling against incredible odds in an adult world. Here in FBAWTFT all we have is wands that shot magic like bullets out of a machine guns and lots and lots of action. The magic community in NY like their European cousins strives to keep the real world from knowing about them for fear of war, however by the end of this epic half of NYC stands shattered and smouldering and with real human casualties strewn around including the son of a very extremely powerful man. But never mind, cos the non-no muggles, sorry Majs have a magic spell, that isn't shot out of gun, that can erase everyone's memories at the end so that the status quo is restored which only goes to negate what we've just watched. However what about the father for the forementioned dead son, what about him?
The cast, apart from the whispering Edgy Deadpanye, is great, particularly Dan Fogler who is the true heart of this film and Colin Farrell who reminds you how magnetic he is as a screen presence and not forgetting Ezra Miller who just devours the screen. But I'm sorry to say i found the whole thing rather dull and a little boring, the effects just became repetitive and the presence of Eggy Redsnapper just made it more and more tedious. Why doesn't he try a different sort of acting schtick? You know, something that isn't just tilting his head to one side, while his eyes glisten with pre-tears and he gurns with his huge, lop-sided, ear-to-ear, gaping maw. I found his physical performance utterly jarring and it actually made me want the bad guys to win.
This is the start of a new J.K Rowling franchise and I have to say, that I for one, probably won't be back for more, not if Edgar Breadbain is going to be the lead. That said, if Dan Fogler is brought back I might just come back.
Not that fantastic if I'm honest but not a disaster. Kids of a certain age will love it as will many adults, especially those who like the acting stylings of Freddy Beadbin.