Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the latest cinematic child of world-famous author, J.K. Rowling. Best known for her Harry Potter books, Fantastic Beasts is set in that same world, but seventy years before the events of the Potter books and across the ocean, in New York City.
I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I did. Although not a Potterhead, I did enjoy most of the Potter films. Fantastic Beasts? Not so much.
The cast is talented. The settings are lavish. The creature effects are really quite wonderful. However, the story is not so great. The first sign that things are amiss is the opening; there's no buildup. The viewer is simply dumped into the story, which proceeds to move along in a jerky, disjointed manner. There's no real character development and we can spot the big bad coming from a mile away.
The film isn't bad, it's just not that great. And it is obviously meant to set things up for the rest of the franchise series.
Bearing all that in mind, I have to give Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them only 2 stars out of five. It's matinee worthy, but, really, you should just wait for it to come out on video.