Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Movie Review

Newt Scamander arrives in New York City at the beginning of the 20th century with a bag full of magical creatures. But the situation there is more tense than ever. The attacks of monster threaten to reveal the magical world to muggles. Can Newt’s knowledge help or will he be the cause of a war?

Can you still remember the first years when every fall one Harry Potter movie would hit the screens like clockwork? Every Buß- und Bettag (A German holiday) my parents and I would drive into the next state where they did not celebrate this holiday and watch the newest movie. Maybe „Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them“ will start a new tradition?

Based on the companion book of the same name to the Harry Potter series we become part of a magical universe before the-one-who-must-not-be-named, death eaters and the-boy-who-lived. Strange, but also exciting as we meet a whole new set of characters and since this world is no more peaceful on the second glance.

Newt Scamander is an animal activist who wants to encourage studying creatures rather than killing them. He has a bag full of them and when we are finally invited into his own little zoo it’s really magical. But having a bag full of creatures has to get you into trouble with the law and so he makes the acqauintance of former auror Tina Goldstein. She’s afraid he will give the tense relationship between wizards and muggles a push into the wrong direction, especially since a monster has been attacking New York and could make it a new Salem in a heartbeat.

The movie is full of funny scenes and adventure more so than the original series. The human Jakob Kowlaski is hilarious in his unfamiliarity with the magical world and Newt’s unconcerned behaviour leads to a couple of scenes that made the whole cinema laugh out loud. Who would have thought that a tiny human being woed by a gigantic rhino-like creature could be funny?

But the movie also sets the ground for it’s successors. I am excited to find out more about the history of the wizarding world and the events that would lead to the rise of Voldemort and his disciples. But I have my concerns when it comes to the topic of casting. I don’t want to discuss the topic of casting an abuser in a big franchise (which has been done already) but the fact that SPOILER Johnny Depp has not really been at his best lately – in acting as well as personal life. I guess that much will depend on him and his role in the next installments and I just hope that he will not disappoint. To be honest, I would have rather seen Colin Farrell continue on.

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