A return to J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is entertaining, but less magical than the Potter franchise.
‘Fantastic Beasts’ is an extremely well-made studio movie; a big budget and it shows. Stunning production design propels you to jazz-age Manhattan to differentiate it from the traditional Potter-verse. But quotes from John Williams’ memorable ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ are intermittently employed to remind us that this is ultimately a new spin on the world of wizards and muggles.
Such is the level of professionalism here, you can’t help but be entertained, but it doesn’t gel in quite the same way. Perhaps the plot just isn’t as interesting; the story doesn’t really click into place for a long time.
And the leads aren’t exactly satisfying or as engaging as you would want them to be. Like PatronWong, I’m not an Eddie Redmayne fan and he lacks chemistry with Catherine Waterstone. Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol in supporting more comic turns are more appealing.
But this is no Batman v Superman nonsense; if you miss Potter, you’ll have seen this on its first week of release and will be excited by the prospect of more installments and more beasts.
But I’m hoping J.K. comes up with a few more new tricks next time round.