The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
The first thing I have to admit is I am not a reader of J. K. Rowling. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series but I did not read any of the books. Laziness or time or maybe a combination of them both. But I did enjoy the fantasy and magical stories that were presented. Like most people, the darker dangerous stories were the best. Especially The Prisoner of Azkaban directed by Alfonso Cuaron. At times you realized or came to grips with this being a pre- teen series but it was presented and created to be very interesting with its visuals and story lines. So when I heard JK was coming back with a adult series that focused on the humans with no magical powers called the No -maj and the wizards that lived in the same city. I was interested to see how this would turn out.
So, to me any way. Eddie Redmayne is an extraordinary actor. The movies Jupiter rising and Les Miserables were average roles for him but after I saw "The Theory of Everything" and "The Danish Girl". I realized what a amazing performer he truly is. The natural way his odd interactions and emotional facial reactions is a joy to behold. He is this era's Danial Day-Lewis. So I figured he would make the most out of the role he was presented. But on to the movie. I walked in with a premise of a wizard carrying a case of magical animals that some how gets loose in New york city and the local wizards have to help find them before it gets out of hand and cause chaos by revealing the wizards and magic does exist. Seems simple. But this movie is a lot more broad than that. A wizard named Mr. Scamander travels to new york supposedly to acquire a gift but runs into some trouble when a few of his little and some big beast slip out of his case while he is walking through the city. He runs into a few characters that you quickly grow to like that he accidentally involves while trying to recover his beast. One of them is a lovable no-maj that is trying to open a bakery and presents a case full of parties to the bank where Mr. Scamander chases down one of his little beast. Then its the two sisters that are wizards. One of them works for the, I presume the white house of the wizard society as an investigator while the other as a regular worker their that reminds you of a Marilyn Monroe character that reads minds. The first sister tries to find answers of her own about some suspicious activity going on through town that is demolishing buildings and killing no-maj's. We then find their is a strong dark presence that is causing havoc throughout the city that the police are investigating as well as the wizards. At the same time the wizard world is doing the Men in Black thing to blank out no-maj memories so they would not know what happened when they encounter a magical event.
What rI found interesting was the parallel world between the humans (No-maj) and the wizards that existed in the same city interacting everyday while the humans were not aware of the difference between the two. They kind of walked around in their own world without knowing their was a separation. The antagonist you find out a little later in the movie is very interesting and I am excited to see how they make this character return. A well done movie and a very exciting concept of this new magical world. Humor and love interest is laid out within the film that wasn't over the top or gratuitous, but It this really was a movie that anyone could enjoy whether you was a Potter fan or not.