Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrel.
After the incredible worldwide success of the Harry Potter film series, it wasn’t going to take much convincing for Warner Brothers to venture back into the wizarding world created by J.K Rowling. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is the entry point to a whole new franchise. Newt Scamander is a wizard and collector of magical beasts which he is compiling into a hand book on the subject. Arriving in New York City to add to his collection, Newt happens upon a city in turmoil for the magically born.
FB (I’m abbreviating, sue me) has assembled a fantastic cast for it’s new franchise, Eddie Redmayne as the series’ new lead is, well, Eddie Redmayne. He has the market pegged in awkward likability, which he exudes by the gallon. Katherine Waterston carries the female lead banner admirably as Tina, a disgraced former Auror reduced to a lowly bureaucratic desk job. Dan Fogler handles comic relief duty as Jacob, a bemused ‘No-Maj’, the American colloquialism for non-magicborn. Factor in some great support work from Alison Sudol, Ezra Millar and Colin Farrel and you have the very strong foundations for a franchise.
FB does a great job in its first outing of reintegrating us into the wizarding world and delivering some worthy spectacle, the beasts of the title certainly are fantastic, Niffler & Pickett being two wonderfully endearing creations sure to raise a smile. Returning Potter director David Yates stears a steady ship for this new set of films, set to also return for the next 4. This film does a good job also in setting up the predicted story arc for the next 4 films, dutifully tipping its hat to Harry Potter lore and the promise of familiar locations and characters to appear in subsequent films to come.