It’s so much more magical than the Harry Potter films ever were that it makes you wonder how that series got botched so often. 

Largely, though, the addition of a Muggle (Nomag, sorry) makes this story so much more interesting. We’re introduced to the wizard of world through his eyes, which makes the experience of discovery much more involving for us as an audience. 

That experience of discovery makes Fantastic Beasts feel richly rewarding at its best. But when Rowling’s storytelling tips to its worst nature — that of predictable twists and unpredictable magic loopholes and contrivances (which exist only to give her story easy escape routes) — the whole thing falls apart. 

In short, Fantastic Beasts nails the chemistry, the effects, and its world. It’s more fun to discover magical NYC than it ever was to discover Hogwarts. But the drama here still has a lot of room for growth.

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