First, know that I am a fan of Harry Potter. The original 7 books (I don't count Cursed Child as cannon; it's really more like fan fiction), the film adaptions of those original 7 books, and, to a lesser degree, spinoffs like Beedle the Bard, which is a cool novelty thing. Anytime something new is introduced into the Potterverse, I read it...or at least read about it. Also, my House is Slytherin and my Patronous is a cat.
Yes, I AM a geek. That's something I proudly admit.
Still, I was reluctant to watch the film adaption of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, despite great reviews. Basically, a guy running around the city trying to catch a bunch strange creatures? Snore!
"That sounds like Pokemon Go," I complained to my husband when he asked if I wanted to go watch the movie in the theater. "If I wanted to watch that, all I have to do is go...anywhere."
That was a couple years ago when the movie was in theaters and Pokemon Go was still super popular (something I never got into, by the way). We ended up watching a different film that day, although I don't recall which one. In hindsight, I probably would have liked Fantastic Beasts better...
Recently, the trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindewald has been circulating heavily. And yeah, it looked awesome! Jim insisted we watch it when it came to theaters. But in order for either of us to have any clue as to what was going on (other than awesome special effects), the original film had to be watched. Especially since my husband, a muggle, has neither read nor seen Harry Potter and has no experience with that world whatsoever aside from what he's learned from me. And still...there is too much to even sum up. So I rented Fantastic Beasts 1. I admit my hopes were NOT high. At all.
But that's the great thing about going into something with low to no expectations: Sometimes you end up pleasantly surprised. And this movie was absolutely that sort of situation. Yes, the basic plot sort of does have a Pokemon-Go-Gotta-Catch-Em-All thing going on. That's unavoidable. But the characters, their relationships, the special effects, and the sense of adventure and suspense throughout are so, well, fantastic that resemblance doesn't even matter. It was a completely enjoyable film, and I am so glad I finally watched it. Even better, it's a movie that can be enjoyed even if you have no knowledge of the original Harry Potter series. So Muggles rejoice!
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Fantastic Beasts 2 on the big screen! If the trailer tells me anything, this next one will be even better than the first!