#Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald feels like vignettes pushed together rather than a true cohesive story, but thankfully by the third act everything comes together
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This weekend prepare to return to the Wizarding World J.K. Rowling created all those years ago. That’s right Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is coming to a cinema near you.
In this next chapter of the Fantastic Beasts series set six months later we follow Newt Scamander (returning favourite Eddie Redmayne) as he is tasked by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to find Credence (Ezra Miller) thought dead after the events of the previous film before a newly escaped Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) does.
The reason being that Grindelwald is hoping to use Credence as a tool in his crusade to reshape the human and wizarding worlds.
In this journey to save the world, he will be joined by old friends and will have to face many new threats all the while saving the fantastical beasts he finds along the way.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a lot of fun. It’s made for fans of the Wizarding World J.K. Rowling and because of that, it has the pro’s of the franchise, unfortunately, it has all the issues. The world is once again filled with wonder and beauty but it is also dense with information being thrown at the audience that can make it overwhelming.
This is a minor quibble though. The world of this latest film is fascinatingly well fleshed out. The motivations of both the protagonists and the antagonists are given ample time to develop and it’s brilliant to pick out your favourite storyline. Mine was Credence trying to find his place in the world. Ezra Miller has returned to this character with such gusto that he shone when he was onscreen.
Not to be outdone is Johnny Depp who makes his official entrance into the franchise. I know there are many issues and controversies surrounding him at the moment some to do with his casting and some outside of it but speaking simply from the point of view of someone watching his performance – I was impressed. This is one of Depp’s best characters in years.
Grindelwald is a genuine threat to the status quo. Not only that he is incredibly charismatic. Everyone who meets him falls under his spell, all he has to do is find an avenue into their world. This may come in the form of being outcasts or wanting something that in the wizarding community is considered taboo. He’s a seductive individual and has enthralled several followers due to his silver tongue.
There are also moments in the film where you can see historical comparisons to real life villains and the time that the film is set, pre-WWII Europe, is no accident in my eyes.
On the other side of the coin is Dumbledore played by Jude Law. Law brings a warmth to the role that we all hoped for because well let’s face it Dumbledore is everyone’s dad. There is still that sense that he is manipulating everything behind the scenes with a warm smile masking his underhanded methods. Law is great in this most precious of characters and he had big shoes to fill.
Much like its predecessor Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hinged its success on its lead Eddie Redmayne and once again he knocks it out of the park. He gives everything he has in this role. Newt is just so relatable and in his own eccentric way, charming.
Continuing the trend of David Yates films Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is perhaps the most brutal and tragic in the franchise. There is a clear transition here from the youth of the Hogwarts years. This is the adult Wizarding World and there are monsters here so it may not be for the younger members of the family but I will say this could be one of the more brilliant experiences for more grown-up J.K. Rowling fans.
There are some serious issues though with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Scenes, at times, do no flow well together. One moment the characters are in one location discussing one event and then another event will come barging in and halt the flow of that particular subplot. Then that subplot will be quickly resolved and the characters and the story will move on. It feels like vignettes pushed together rather than a true cohesive story thankfully by the third act everything comes together.
There are also technical issues in the sense that some of the scenes are shot quite confusingly. The opening scene, in particular, is a visual mess at times.
There is then the moment that came in the film that in my opinion will shake the foundations of the Wizarding World J.K. Rowling created. You will either love it or hate it and will ultimately decide your thoughts on where this new collection of stories fit in J.K. Rowling’s world. I personally adored this moment and look forward to hotly debate it with Harry Potter fans around the world.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has captured my imagination and I can’t talk highly enough about it.