REVIEW: Love, explosions and magic

COURTESY PHOTO Beautiful Creatures stars Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert.

Beautiful Creatures stars Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert.

Imagine a classic romance: two star-crossed lovers coming to a heart-wrenching conclusion while a magic civil war reenactment battle reaches a climax. That sums up Beautiful Creatures.

To my utter surprise, I found the movie dreadfully southern – almost overbearing at the beginning – but I slowly became accustomed to the southern twang every actor shares. I also found that the entire movie was not just one giant special effects explosion; the sense of realism the movie brings really finds its home with the film’s southern domestic setting.

The very definition of magic can be viewed as making something unbelievable out of the realistic, creating a sense of wonder for the viewer.

The plot consists of a not-so-traditional romance: boy lives in southern dead-end town, new girl comes to town, boy falls in love with girl, girl turns out to have conflicted choice between good magic and bad magic, boy becomes sandwiched between conflict, epic battles and deep moral decisions.

Like any southern family, each of the protagonists has deep-seated family issues, thereby complicating the situation. If not viewed in any other way, the plot is just a couple of twists thrown upon a romantic flick.

The special effects throughout the film do not disappoint. There are some instances of impressive storm effects, and the magic displayed is satisfying. Even the set locations are spectacular at times.

I do, however, have one complaint: There is one instance where special effects are wasted on making a dining table spin in one direction, literally making me laugh out loud at the spectacle. The context in which this is happening is of serious brooding, but just witnessing it seems silly.

Overall, the film is of modest note. The plot is of significance and the special effects carry it a distance, but it fails to impress and becomes just another worthy rental movie. I give this film a 3 out of 5 rating. I would not recommend seeing this movie in theaters, but a rental would not be a waste of money. The movie’s southern charm shines through its otherwise lackluster features and hits the viewer in the heart with a good, old-fashioned love story aimed at young couples and fans of magic. The film’s simplicity saves it from becoming unbearable, while its twists and quirks stop it from becoming a hit.

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