Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
By James Davidson
In 2001, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was released in theatres and created a phenomenon that has lasted for years and captured the hearts and minds of children and adults everywhere. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” attempts to recreate the magic of the Potterverse created by J.K. Rowling. “Crimes of Grindelwald” is the sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and continues the adventures of magic zoologist (or magizoologist) Newt Scamander, who is played by Eddie Redmayne. Newt is trying to save the wizarding and muggle (non magics) worlds from the evil wizard, Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp).
I was a huge fan of the Harry Potter books and movies. I have read all of the books and seen all of the movies. I even took the online quiz to find out which Hogwarts house I would belong to (Go Ravenclaw!).So, I was pretty excited about this movie, especially considering how much I enjoyed the first “Fantastic Beasts” movie. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed in this sequel.
The plot of this movie was very confusing to me. All I could work out was that Grindelwald wanted the wizards take over the entire world in order to prevent the second World War. Newt, under direction from a young Albus Dumbledore, is sent to Paris to attempt to prevent this from happening. Other than this, the plot was difficult to figure out and it took forever for anything to develop. The pacing of the film was very slow and each scene felt drawn out with a lot of dry dialogue which made it difficult to pay attention. I thought there were a lot of unnecessary scenes and dialogue which made the movie longer than it needed to be. I thought a lot of the character additions were also confusing and they muddled the story. Besides the main characters, I had a hard time figuring out who each character was and following their storyline.
One of the only points of most of this movie seemed to be to present the audience with a lot of Easter eggs from the original Harry Potter movies. For example, we got to see young Dumbledore and McGonagall at Hogwarts in their early teaching days. All of this stuff was pretty cool and fun to see, but I felt that if you didn’t see the Harry Potter movies you wouldn’t appreciate a lot of these things.
This movie is definitely made for fans of the original Harry Potter movies. Though as a fan of those movies, I honestly didn’t enjoy this movie. But, if you are a fan of Harry Potter, at least you will catch all of the throwback references.
While the movie has a lot of problems, it does have some really cool visual effects. It shows a number of magical beasts, as the name suggests, but doesn’t expand on their background. These beasts are really cool to see and learn about and it would have been nice to see them explored further. The acting was also superb. I thought all of the actors did a very good job with what they were given. It almost made up for the confusing, drawn out plot in this movie.
“Crimes of Grindelwald” is rated PG-13 for fantasy violence, but other than that it is a pretty clean movie with minimal violence and/or language. Honestly, there is barely any violence because there is not a lot of action at all.
I thought “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald” had amazing visuals with a number of fun Harry Potter easter eggs. Unfortunately, they are in a movie that is slow, drawn-out, and confusing. If you are a big Harry Potter fan, then you can find some fun things about this movie and it might be worth it to see it once. If you are not, I would not suggest this movie for you. I will probably not be seeing this movie again, though I will probably buy it just to complete my collection though. It earns 2 out of 5 stars