Fantastic Beasts Early Reviews Are In! What Did The Critics Think?


Fantastic Beasts has now shown to audiences twice in the last three days in New York City. What did the early reviews think of Rowling’s new series?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them had a second outing last night in New York City, this time in Carnegie Hall. With two showings in three days, the early reviews are starting to crop up. So how did the critics like it?

Well…. It *is* Rowling’s first screenplay. And there’s no runaway hit series of novels to base things on. And it’s a prequel. (We remember how the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings prequels lead ballooned, no?) So… right now, the critics seem hopeful that things will improve. Which, well that’s not the answer we wanted to hear, is it?

Over at IGN they complain the story is lifeless:

"While the beasts are indeed fantastic, watching Newt and his new group of friends round them up just isn’t as entertaining or compelling as Harry, Ron and Hermione running around Hogwarts. … That the group never quite clicks together in the right way is a huge reason the rest of the movie doesn’t find its footing."

Image via Warner Brothers

The characters are too stock, according to Entertainment Weekly:

"Rowling, who also wrote the script, nimbly lays out her world, but that world isn’t nearly as rich as the world of Hogwarts. And the villains (chief among them Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves) are stock cinematic baddies. Fantastic Beasts is two-plus hours of meandering eye candy that feels numbingly inconsequential."

But The Guardian loves the new universe she’s building, even if the characters aren’t quite up to snuff yet.

"It’s a very Rowling universe, dense with fun, but always taking its own jeopardy very seriously and effortlessly making you do the same. The Beasts movies may actually make clearer Rowling’s under-discussed debt to Roald Dahl. They also show that her universe with its exotic fauna is in the best way, a cousin to that of George Lucas."

Image via Pottermore

Everyone agrees that Eddie Redmayne is the reason to watch the movie. Here’s The Hollywood Reporter:

"Eddie Redmayne makes an ideal Newt Scamander, who is endearingly sheepish around humans but gifted with the nifflers, bowtruckles, erumpents and so forth to whom the pic’s title refers."

Variety feels like too much plot and not enough character building (which is Rowling’s strong suit) is to blame:

"Rowling, whose world-building skills are rivaled only by George Lucas, appears to be primarily concerned with plot at this point, and Goldstein’s memories serve the story, while this two-plus-hour-plus pilot evidently doesn’t leave much room for the sort of character detail we’d all like to get about Scamander."

Image via Warner Brothers Pictures

And finally, there’s the political morality tale which is obviously a major factor. Collider says it’s the real point of the movie:

"These kinds of themes — acceptance, social divisions, and bigotry — are as crucial to Rowling’s wizarding world as wands, spells, and apparating. That’s what makes her stories special. She didn’t just come up with a fun tale where people with magical powers live among us. The social commentary has always been a part of her writing, and it’s in the foundation for Fantastic Beasts."

Next: The Fantastic Beasts Filmmakers Give Their Dumbledore Ideas

So there are the early takes! Have you been to see the movie yet? What’s *your* early take? Sound off in the comments!