Mix magic and monsters with Muggles and the result is the movie we’ve all been waiting for since Harry Potter hung up his wand.
If life has seemed ever so slightly grey since we said goodbye to Hogwarts, JK Rowling confidently launches us into a new world of wizardry and wonder.
Make no mistake, Fantastic Beasts is everything we could have hoped for – gripping, exciting and just gorgeous to look at. It’s also very, very funny.
Fantastic Beasts is a truly magical spectacle from the Harry Potter universe – First review
Inspired by Rowling’s book of the same name, the setting is 1920s New York where Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has arrived in search of magical creatures only those in the wizarding world can see.
The magical-zoologist – think a cross between Dr Who and Buster Keaton – has spent his life collecting the endangered animals which he studies in a lab accessible only through his leather briefcase.
But things go awry when down-on-his-luck baker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) unwittingly unleashes Newt’s beasts on the Big Apple. Teaming up with Jacob and witches Tina and Queenie (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol), Newt must catch them before they cause mayhem.
To add to the urgency, a band of fanatical No-Majs, the US version of Muggles, want to wage war on the wizards. While there’s no sign of Harry, Ron or Hermione, the film will still delight fans.
As you’d expect, a movie with a $180m budget looks amazing with rampaging monsters brought to stunning life. The most impressive visuals come when Newt attempts to coax a rhino-like animal into his briefcase at Central Park Zoo.