Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald is the latest adventure in the Harry Potter Universe. Full disclosure, I am not a Harry Potter fan, but I did really enjoy the first Fantastic Beasts film. I tried to look at this film as its own entity, separate from the massive universe that it inhabits. Unfortunately, with or without the magic of the Wizarding World, this film is a mess, filled bland characters and a plot that goes nowhere.
It tells the story of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), an expert on magical beasts, and his journey to defeat the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp.) This seems like a simple enough premise, but the problem is that that try to cram so much other stuff into this story without giving any if it enough screen time to be fully developed. There are simply too many plot points and characters that the movie jump around to and from. Overall, you’re left feeling very confused for the majority of the movie.
The main selling point of this film was Jude Law as a young Dumbledore. Unfortunately, he has very little to do here, with his main purpose in the story being to explain his relationship with Grindelwald. I found their relationship incredibly interesting, but like everything else in the movie, it is not developed nearly enough. Depp does fine as Grindelwald but I’ve reached a point where I can’t see him as anything other than Johnny Depp and it got distracting at times.
The rest of the characters are fun and do their job just fine, but none of them really get a chance to shine. I really enjoyed Newt’s interactions with Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston.) Their scenes are awkward, while still being charming which is not an easy thing to pull off. Dan Fogler‘s Jacob Kowalski was a welcome source of comic relief, even if his performance didn’t quite capture the magic from the first film.
The movie attempts to do some interesting things with the other characters such as Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz) but it all falls flat. I wish they would have trimmed the cast down considerably and made the four main characters from the first film, Newt, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob, the main focus of the sequel.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald was a disappointment. They tried to accomplish so many things and in the end, they accomplished nothing. If you enjoy the Wizarding World you might enjoy this film, but I’m not sure because the two “Potterheads” I went with absolutely hated it. I hope they can fix all these things for the third installment because I genuinely enjoy the premise of this franchise and think has great potential.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald was a disappointment. They tried to accomplish so many things and in the end, they accomplished nothing.