Before you read on, just so you know, there’s spoilers in this review.
Eddie Redmayne comes to America to start a plot about something happening, whilst something is happening. Coincidences become incredibly apparent and, of course, it’s up to the unlikely hero to save the day, despite having to come to America to save the day for someone else.
Fantastic Beasts moves at a good pace. It feels lean and the plot is almost always being driven. Humorous moments are scattered throughout and never at inappropriate parts of the film.
The dialogue is serviceable. It doesn’t really stand out and gives enough to allow the characters to have some personality.
The actors do a fairly decent job of playing their characters. No one seems to be phoning in their performance, although at times it does feel a bit flat.
I can’t say anything about the soundtrack because I can’t remember what it was like.
The creatures in the film look interesting and somewhat believable. Most importantly, they suit the world that the film inhabits.
I’d recommend seeing Fantastic Beasts. It has some flaws, but it is a fun little adventure film.
My biggest problem with the film is M.A.C.U.S.A.
Throughout the film they show to be willing to do whatever they can to protect themselves, which is fair. There’s somewhat frequent mentions about protecting and hiding their secret society, which is also fair. However, holding judgemental attitudes toward a populace that can’t use magic due to something that happened over three-hundred years prior instead of working toward some sort of reconciliation and unity is stupid. By continually remaining hidden, when an event occurs where something might not remain as such (as witnessed in the film), it’s going to cause problems. Making things worse is setting up a barrier to protect the general populace from a magic battle and then not saying a thing about it at all.
It’s somewhat bizarre as M.A.C.U.S.A. seem like a multicultural group, but it would seem that, despite probably copping a load of crap that had gone on for far longer than the persecution of witches and wizards and probably needing the protection of magic users, anyone who would need the kind of protection that a magic user could provide would be turned away, regardless of what they’ve been through because they’d be lumped into the same group as the non-magic users (No-Maj in the film).
M.A.C.U.S.A. seem to want to portray themselves as as being fair and equal, but they’re just a bunch of self-interested assholes who don’t want to move on and work toward bridging the gap between the magic and non-magic world.
Right near the end of the film, there’s a bit of destruction that has occurred and it seems that the magic world has been revealed which will lead to problems. However, with the assistance of Eddie Redmayne and his bird-dog friend, M.A.C.U.S.A. create a rain that mind-wipes all No-Majs. Whilst this is happening, they then then rebuild New York using magic, returning everything to how it was, thus completing their most important role in the film: rendering the majority of the plot and pointless.
Now, does the rain eliminate the photos of the witches and wizards that were taken? Does it damage the camera?
How does the rain affect the people who were inside during the time of the magic battle? Surely not all of them were not paying attention to what was happening.
The film seems to imply that they too are mind-wiped.
But if that’s the case, why does Daniel Fogler’s character have to stand in the rain to be mind-wiped? Is he actually a magic user without realising it and not actually affected by the rain, but decided to play along because he? Did the plot decide to give him more time because dramatic?
Because of their attitude, M.A.C.U.S.A. punished Katherine Watterson for trying to stop someone from being abused, therefore allowing a serious threat to be created.
I can’t help but think that they were written this way so they could function as some sort of critique. Whilst I have my suspicions, I’m not sure as to what the critique (if any) is meant to be on, as it falls flat and seems quite one-dimensional.
Instead of getting a film that could have great potential for the exploration of the ramifications of the actions taken in the sequels, we end up with a film that erases itself, unless the next one decides that the mind-wipe was only temporary, possibly due to Eddie Redmayne making some sneaky alterations.
Still, as said before, Fantastic Beasts is a fun film.