FIRST LOOK: Furry, Fluffy "Beasts" Bring Applause Despite Dangling Characters and Worlds

Updated 1 year ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
FIRST LOOK: Furry, Fluffy "Beasts" Bring Applause Despite Dangling Characters and Worlds

Having left Harry Potter and his dark wizardry teen something friends five years ago, the imagination of J.K.  Rowlings swirls back to prohibition era  New York City where Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) carries a nondescript often unsnapping piece of worn luggage.  Crawling out from the Tardis suitcase which opens to magical infinity, a cluster of toothy, fluffy, impish creatures that remind of Spielberg's 'Gremlins.' 

Director David Yates. who helmed the last four deliberately dark Harry Potter films, has taken a strong upper for the fantasy fairy tale-esque, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." Chris-crossing the real and intersecting mystic worlds, Yates at first bobbles suspension of disbelief elements before brisk beaming wizards, wands, and  an assortment of digital cuddly biting and thievery prone bright colored crawlers (i.e. tiny leaf figure, a glowing love-sick rhino-like creature,  a pilfering purple scalawag, treasure hunting platypuses, four winged eagles etc, ) collide.

"Beasts" unveils with a 1926 row house neighborhood shaken by disaster invoking shadows seeping up from subterranean haunts. Scamander strolls through as plain looking Porpentina (Katherine Waterston) recruits volunteers for tracking the increasingly serious eruptions that have occurred in lower economic class locations. After a quickly dismissed request for a newspaper publisher to investigate the phenomenon , Scamander and Tina scramble for sleep with a portly Kowalsky (Dan Fogler). They meet her mind-reading breathy blonde bombshell-type red-head Queenie (singer-songwriter Alison Sudol). But after a gender separate good night, the guys climb down a bottomless suitcase  on a quest for escaped furry feathery  'beasts,' which have set off ripples in the magic world unknown by humans.

FIRST LOOK: Furry, Fluffy "Beasts" Bring Applause Despite Dangling Characters and Worlds

Rowlings has a penchant for multiple layers so the jungle nuisances mask the X Men styled segregation of magical and no-maj (Muggie) beings. It's a barrier with which Yates struggles, leaving lots of abandoned characters and non-consequential aftermaths along the journey. 

Crafted from the super-hero genre, cobblestone NYC streets will crack and split hinting at events parallel to subway tunnels where hocus pocus denizens observe a cardinal rule: Do not reveal thyself to normals.

Fragile, twinkling music paint whimsy allowing the reality microscope to ease before ample wanded types display their powers. Something more sinister lurks but its for one of the pending sequels, as "Fantastic Beasts" avoids thoughts of supernatural portals content with feel good adventure, humor and a touch of romance.

Strong performances from the  Redmayne/ Fogler/ Waterston/ Sudol quartet solidly establish a foundation for 20 something's to follow and bond in a similar manner to those who grew up with the teen Potter. It's often annoying that the swiftly paced film cuts from the foursome.

Rawlings slips in allegories to refrain from  bigotry , cruelty and fear, which spawns a plea for tolerance in the divided USA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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