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Bad Movie Drinking Game: The Fantastic Beasts Trilogy

by Natalie McC 2 months ago in movie review
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These are three of the most absurd movies ever made

The main cast of the Fantastic Beasts series (mostly)

Whether you were into the Harry Potter series or not, I think most people can agree that the Fantastic Beasts trilogy has been a bit of a mess. No hate to anyone who loves these movies, but there's a reason they haven't reached anywhere near the same degree of success as Harry Potter, and it's not just because of J.K. Rowling's political views (although that certainly doesn't help).

These movies have gone completely off the rails, to the point where the title of Fantastic Beasts became irrelevant by the second instalment. I didn't care for the first movie, but it felt at least somewhat coherent. However, in my own personal opinion, watching these movies go insane has made them more enjoyable. This is the paradox of bad movies: sometimes, there is an inverse relationship between how competent the movie is and how much I enjoy it. Watching the filmmakers lose track of what these movies are supposed to be about and expanding the scope of the movies to absurd heights has been a thrilling ride.

If you sincerely love these movie, or any of the movies I will ever describe as "bad," please know that badness is not an objective trait or even a negative quality. All movies can bring joy and are art. For a list of stock rules that apply to all my bad movie viewings, click here.

1. Ret-con

Short for retroactive continuity, this is when the filmmakers decide to change previously established things in the universe in order to better suit whatever story they're trying to tell now. This can include a character who was shown to be pretty obviously dead coming back to life with little to no reasonable explanation, the rules of magic being massaged so that two characters can end up together even if that makes no sense, or any other change forced in there just for the sake of conflict or resolution. Every time sometime pops up that contradicts a previously established fact, take a drink.

2. Why is Newt here?

Personally, this is my biggest gripe with the series. There are three of these movies, and the first one is the only one that has anything significant to do with fantastic beasts! As a zoologist, what the hell does our protagonist Newt Scamander have to do with the election of the wizard leader of the world? With the rising tide of fascism? With magic espionage infiltrating institutions? Nothing, except that important characters keep coming to Newt to say: "we need your help!" And, for some reason, Newt keeps agreeing to help, despite being a reserved character and appearing disinterested in getting involved. This also falls into the category of main character syndrome, except it's especially relevant in this series. Every time you find yourself wondering "why would Newt be involved in this?" take a drink.

3. Nostalgia bait

Why do the characters keep finding reasons to go back to Hogwarts? Why do the same last names keep popping up? Why bother revealing that Voldemort's snake used to be a human woman? Why does the Harry Potter musical theme keep playing? To remind viewers of a different movie that they actually liked. Anytime you see something meant to remind you of Harry Potter, take a drink.

4. Dumbledore is the most important person ever

This isn't really relevant until the second and third instalments in the series, but in The Secrets of Dumbledore, it's extremely relevant. I guess because Dumbledore is important in the Harry Potter series and because they got Jude Law to play him, all the events of this universe revolve around Dumbledore. This is another instance of a particular kind of main character syndrome. Every time Dumbledore is singled out as the key to everything, take a drink.

5. Politics

I understand that practically everything is inherently political, including art. I also get that the Harry Potter series gets political too. I don't have a problem with politics in movies. But, in my opinion, these movies are not suited to being anything close to political thrillers. Yet, for some reason I can not comprehend, the climax of The Crimes of Grindelwald is a anti-World War II but pro-Nazi allegory rally. Then, the central focus of The Secrets of Dumbledore is a wizard election where we barely know anything at all about the candidates. Weren't these movies supposed to be about magical animals???

6. A big twist!

If you've never seen these movies before, buckle in. You're about to be taken for a ride. Secret parentage, the dead still live, mountains of Polyjuice potion, a slightly different version of "the chosen one." There are only one or two of these per movie, but they warrant finishing your whole drink. So, when you're watching The Crimes of Grindelwald and Zoe Kravitz starts talking about a shipwreck, make sure you've got a stiff drink ready to chug down.

7. Relevant stock rules

As mentioned, there are a few rules from the stock list I'd keep in mind for this movie. There's plenty of cringe, bad acting, actors who are too good for the movie, exposition dumps, and moments that were probably meant to be serious that make me laugh. Whenever you encounter those or any of the other rules mentioned here, take a drink.

I'm certainly not a fan of this series, but by God, I hope a fourth one is made. I can't promise I'll pay money to see it, but I definitely will be watching with a drink in hand.

movie review

About the author

Natalie McC

Writer/editor/third thinger

My dream is to write something that will rival my one Google review that somehow got 10k views.

I'm on Letterboxd

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