This typical Harry Potterish movie gets 4 Icees out of 5 from me. Please keep in mind I was never really a Harry Potter fan. In fact, I think the first 2 or 3 movies should have been called, “Harry Potter and the Bad Actors”.  They did get better as they went along, but nothing really wowed me.

The same is true with this entry. I’m sure that Potter purists will love this movie. It has magic galore, stunning visual effects and good acting.  Now granted that since this is just the first of 5 movies there was a lot of setup. You will hear some words and names you recognize from the Potter universe.

The beasts in the movie truly are fantastic. There’s a heartwarming one that I’m sure all the younger viewers will adore. Heck, even the older ones will. There are a couple of scary beasts as well, although the scariest thing in the movie is not a beast. The scenes with the scary thing are short so I think it would be ok for younger audiences, but it is PG-13 so keep that in mind.

The acting in the movie was good, but not great.  The main actor nails “awkward” perfectly, and I liked the Jacob character, but the others around him didn’t quite come off well for me. Also, the story is difficult to follow in parts for me as a non-Potterite. The action, limited as it was, was ok but not overly fantastic.  It’s a good story and a good start to the franchise, and a movie I think it definitely worth seeing, but it’s not perfect. Hence the 4 Icee rating.  I watched it in 3D and am glad I did because I think they used the technology well, especially with close-ups of some of the beasts.

One last note, with is purely conjecture on my part.  I do not think that this is a pure prequel to the previous franchise. My personal theory is that this franchise will end with enough time to squeeze in another one franchise before we reach the time of the he who must not be named.

No scene after the credits… Enjoy!

Next week – Allied and Moana.  I don’t know if I’ll get to see/review them both, but I’ll give it a shot!