Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katharine Waterston, Alison Sudol
Director: David Yates
Harry Potter for an older generation, perhaps? This film opens in 20’s New York, where Newt Scamander (Redmayne) has arrived with a suitcase full of trouble. As he bumbles through the city, he manages to embroil a muggle, a magical secret agent and her sister in a mix up which sees various magical creatures released on the city. But while they help him to return them to the safety of the magical suitcase, trouble is brewing in the upper echelons of Magical Congress and a dark evil lurks the streets, attached somehow to a family who preach an end to witches.
So to say that there’s a lot going on here would not be an understatement. Each beautifully realised scene in this film is jam packed with magic, way more than you ever saw in Harry Potter, to the extent that as here magic seems to be able to fix anything and everything, can there really be a sense of urgency and danger here?
Eddie Redmayne has a highly awkward way of overly elaborately avoiding eye contact with everyone that is quite unnerving. And perhaps this is a key point in this film: everyone is trying very hard. There’s wonderful performances, but perhaps too many characters, so we don’t really get to know them. Everything is magical to the extent of being ridiculous, each frame rendered with so many special effects it’s overwhelming. So many magical beasts are stuffed in that they all become mere spectacle after a while. There’s some really good stuff here, but there’s just altogether too much of all of it.
See It If: should please kids and Potter fans, and is fairly entertaining spectacle, but not much more.