Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Jon Voigt, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogo
Entertining. Inferior. Uneven.
Prequel of sorts to the Goliath Harry Potter series of books and movies, this new venture from J.K Rowling follows Newt Scamander (Redmayne), a diffident magizooligist tasked with tracking down the magical creatures that have escaped from him in 1920s New York. Several subplots weave through this film, their significance gradually revealed. Along the journey, we meet Jacob Kowalski (Fogler), a non-magical baker, Tina (Waterston), a kind, but currently in disgrace former auror, and her sister, Queenie (Sudol). It’s all done reasonably well, but lacks a strong villainous presence like we had with Voldemort, and the protagonists took a while to get going. Jacob and Queenie stood out more so than Scamander and Tina. The creatures should take top-billing.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-