IT may be a film about a secret community of wizards and witches in New York.
But the real magicians in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them are the visual effects team at Warner Bros.
The fantasy Harry Potter spin-off, set 70 years before the saga starring Daniel Radcliffe, is a pure feast for the eyes.
A combination of puppets and CGI were used to bring the ‘fantastic beasts’ to life.
Visually it is immaculate and filmmaker David Yates, who directed four of the Harry Potter films, shows imagination and flair behind the camera. The movie, again penned by J.K. Rowling, focuses on Hogwarts alumnus Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who is on a mysterious quest to Arizona via New York.
But his actions tip the delicate balance between the unseen world of the wizards and the ‘No-Maj’ (those with no magical powers).
At this point Rowling basically has a licence to print money with her endlessly popular wizarding world and Harry Potter fans will savour every moment. But there is only really the bare bones of a story here with a third act feeling completely disjointed from the rest of the film.
The aforementioned magical beasts help compensate for that as does the charming cast. Redmayne is a great lead despite trying to come across as British as possible to the extent that Hogwarts version of Hugh Grant.
He is almost outshined by Dan Fogler as everyman Jacob Kowalski but Katherine Waterston is overshadowed as sidekick Tina from the Magical Congress of the United States.