For about 10 minutes at the start of the latest collaboration between JK Rowling and director David Yates, I thought I would finally be allowed into the world of Harry Potter without having to endure the boy wizard and his cronies.
I was too old to enjoy the Potter phenomenon, but with an older protagonist in the form of Eddie Redmayne’s Newt, and period New York as the backdrop, it felt more me.
It’s well cast, the effects are great and it promises much. The problem is Rowling’s screenplay is so boring. She thinks dialogue should be more important than visuals, so we have achingly long scenes of boring exposition where nothing happens. Little wonder I started nodding off after an hour and had trouble staying awake for the rest of it.
I fought against leaden eyelids, but a dozen times I closed my eyes hoping for some action scenes to wake me up.
Finally the explosive finale arrived, and then we endured another endless farewell to secondary characters I cared little about.
Problem is Rowling needs a script editor to trim the fat, but when you have that much power, who dares say that she should tighten up the flabby second act, trim the assorted endings and just get on with it? Mentally I was yelling: “Just finish the movie!” But like some endless torture it just carried on.
Redmayne and Katherine Waterston are terrific, but I cared little about anyone else and the villain just seemed to be a tortured soul who turns into a whirling dervish of bad energy.
As you may have gathered I won’t be counting the days until the sequel.