From the mind and writing talents of J.K. Rowling, we are being taken back to the world of wizards, dangerous creatures, eccentric characters, and magic. We are being taken back to the world of Harry Potter. Now, it is simply the same universe as Harry Potter. He has absolutely nothing to do with this movie. This movie is the story of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he attempts to release magical creatures back to their homes and write his book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a book that will eventually become a standard textbook at Hogwarts.
The story centers on Scamander as he travels to the United States in the 1920’s in order to get one of his creatures, Frank the Thunderbird, back to his home in Arizona. He lands in New York and after some unfortunate events, including a chase scene through a bank and an encounter with an American wizard, his case gets switched with the case of Jacob Kowalski. Kowalski is a NoMaj, or Muggle as is the known term, and unwittingly and unintentionally lets some of the creatures out of the case. Scamander, along with Kowalski, set out to find and recapture the lost creatures, all the while dealing with interference from the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) and their head of Security, Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), not to mention appearances from other dark and evil forces, some known and some new faces.
This movie, directed by David Yates, holds up to its title by being truly fantastic. It is a unique story that was taken from the name of a textbook in the Harry Potter series. It goes to show that, no matter your opinion of her or her works, J.K. Rowling knows how to create an engaging and vibrant story that entrances the audience from start to finish. The story is brought together with brilliant performances by Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler and many others, some of which aren’t considered to be well-known actors. But, as I always say, you never understand an experience until you’ve experienced it yourself. So go see this movie and decide for yourself whether or not it really is Fantastic.