here lies harry potter (1997-2016)

(his creator killed him)

Let's get this out of the way: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them isn't a particularly good film. It's like J.K. Rowling tried to combine the childlike whimsy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with the rather grown-up plots and characters of her Cormoran Strike novels. If that sounds like it wouldn't work -- well, it didn't work. Fantastic Beasts doesn't have a cohesive "feel": it never quite decides whether it wants to embody the spirit of its namesake book or be, uh, vaguely American Gothic? (Who knows, honestly?) Rowling also seems to have attempted to write a novel instead of a screenplay: Fantastic Beasts is full of throwaway dialogue that works beautifully as character development in her later, 800-page Harry Potter books, but that sort of thing doesn't work so beautifully in a two-hour film whose most interesting character is a Niffler.

Now, if you ask the Harry Potter fanbase, many of the eight Harry Potter movies aren't particularly good films either -- but the books they're based on are wonderful. After all, that's why Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone became a film in the first place. Fantastic Beasts is a blatant attempt to cash in on the franchise's enduring popularity, and its inspiration isn't a beloved children's story, but a spin-off book that was itself a blatant attempt to cash in on the franchise's popularity (for charity, so I won't complain too much). Like most mistakes, the Fantastic Beasts film would be forgivable if Rowling and Yates promised to never do anything like it again, but --