Fantastic Beasts Review
Review by DeAngelo Murillo, TheGeekLyfe.com
Little did fans know that J.K. Rowling would whip up another tale after Harry Potter. I, like most of my generation, grew up with the wizard and his tight knit group of friends as they fought the dreaded Voldemort over the course of seven novels and eight films. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 aired in 2011 it was a bittersweet ending to a magical journey.
This adventure takes place well before Harry Potter existed, and even his parents. 1926. Our protagonist is a Magizoologist by the name of Newt Scamander who visits New York City on a simple quest. Due to a series of unfortunate events, he becomes wrapped up in a conflict regarding the secrecy of the Wizarding community and the Nomag or ‘Non Magic Users.’
Right out of the gate I found myself captivated from the new and exciting setting. Far away were the giggling school kids who traveled the halls of Hogwarts, struggling to learn the most basic of spells. Instead we have fully seasoned wizards who walk the streets of New York City aiming to keep order in their society. The tone felt so much more mature than the original heptology.
While the physical location, accents, and time frame were all wonderfully unique, the Nomag side character, Jacob Kowalski impressed me the most. He offered the perfect presentation of how an everyday human would react in the wizarding world! While each and every scene sizzled with tension between the various factions who seemed all knowing and wise, Jacob kept us grounded in the topsy turvy world where he tried to survive.
The combat and physical conflict in Fantastic Beasts will speed up your heart rate. I always craved the wizard battles, using every spell in their arsenal to defend themselves and so many times I was let down in the heptology. However, in Fantastic Beasts we are served an immense amount of intense firefights. The spells fly across the screen and we are left beyond satisfied. When the viewers received magical beasts, Fantastic was the appropriate wording as they were majestic in their 3D rendering! The combination of all the animals pulled at my imagination and when Newt gave the lore to Jacob regarding one of the creatures originating from Arizona (my hometown), everyone in the theatre cheered at the unexpected nod.
Colin Ferrell, Eddie Redmayne, Gemma Chan, Katherine Waterston, Ron Perlman, and even a surprise actor offered top notch performances. The cast delivered a great 20’s American vibe that contributed to the refreshing feel of the film. I also loved the amount of diversity. One of my biggest HP complaints growing up was the lack of representation in Hogwarts. We’d see a teacher or hear a student drop a line but it was hardly ever significant, yet in Fantastic Beasts we have a black madam president, the leaders of the wizarding world are of all different ethnicities, and even their own Auroras were well diversified, especially for being set in the 1920s!
Overall, I loved Fantastic Beasts! It’s self contained, so folks who have never seen a Harry Potter film can walk right in and have a great time while veterans will enjoy the various references to characters in the heptology we all know and love. They leave the textbooks with Harry Potter and throw Newt into serious situations that are drenched in danger on a large scale both politically and physically. I can’t wait for the next films and encourage fans of the Urban Fantasy genre to go and enjoy Fantastic Beasts!
Looking to get crafty? There are already plenty of things to make! Here’s a few of them!
Thanks for reading!
DeAngelo Murillo is Kathy’s son, and runs his own site, TheGeekLyfe.com. He goes by Darth Mexican, and has been a geek for 24+ years. His interests include Anime, Cosplay, Comic Books, Kung Fu films, Video Games and Table Top Gaming. With strong character traits such as optimism and ambition, it’s hardly a surprise that Darth Mexican decided to create a blog centered around Geek Culture that kept the community updated on all things they care for.