What a steaming pile of garbage this film is, such an abhorrent representation of the sorry state of the industry that they might as well have showed audiences a screen saying “we’re conning you out of your money” for two hours. Frankly, that might have been more entertaining.

Bad films can be fun, no doubt about it. But when all’s said and done, Fantastic Beast’s commits the cardinal sin of cinema; it’s just so damn boring. Surprisingly, a short encyclopaedic book isn’t the best inspiration when it comes to plot.

Rather than any sort of overarching, meaningful story, Fantastic Beasts run time is filled by stuff just happening, and the viewer is expected to lap it up. The lack of content is masked by some abysmal editing, with lots of establishing shots being dragged out for ludicrous amounts of time, but this only makes this film feel tedious.

Likewise, CGI is used heavily throughout the film but it fails to have any lasting impact. No matter how realistic it looks, we’ve seen the streets and buildings of Manhattan smashed to pieces a million times over the past 20 years. If you’re going to rely so much on visual effects, at least mix it up a bit (Doctor Strange).

The acting is passable, only marginally better than the child actors of the Harry Potter series. But this is wasted on characters with little depth and development, with screen time instead being devoted to either silly visual gags or cutesy animals, no doubt to appease stupid kids and maybe even sell a toy or two.

Only two groups of people will enjoy this film. Snot nosed children whose terrible parents have brought them to the cinema just so the bright colours will keep them quiet for a bit, and Harry Potters nerds so blinded by their own nostalgia that they fail to see what’s being done to their beloved franchise. And until these two audiences get their act together, we’re going to get this sort of nonsense every year until the end of time.

Luke Baldwin

[1star]

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