Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

By Angie Raphael

I should preface this review by mentioning I have never seen a Harry Potter film, nor have I ever read any of the books. Perhaps if I were more familiar with the franchise I would have enjoyed Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them a little more, but as it is, I still found some enjoyment in J. K. Rowling's world, as created by director David Yates. Set in New York in the 1920s, this spin-off centres on writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who must battle an evil force that threatens to expose the wizard community to the rest of the world. Redmayne grounds the film well and he is well supported, especially by Dan Fogler as Newt's sidekick, a wannabe baker named Jacob Kowalski. The film drags on towards the end, as if Yates did not quite know how to wrap everything up, but there are some cute and spooky characters, some surprisingly thrilling action sequences and a story that young audiences can get swept up in. Now, maybe I should give the Harry Potter films a chance.