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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review

 

It may not surprise anyone when I say I didn’t enjoy this movie, given that is a popular opinion at this point, but it breaks my heart none the less. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a sequel to “Where to Find Them” and follows the uprising of the universes most famous dark wizard. Now, I feel it must be stated that my wife and I are huge Harry Potter fans, both of us sporting tattoos and collectibles. I am however a much bigger fan than her. I enjoyed the first installment of the series, liking the twists it put on the things I already loved without ruining itself or relying on the Harry Potter series too much. It marketed itself as completely separate except for the world itself. I respected and liked that. I went it to this movie with high hopes and they were dashed away rather quickly into it.

The movie opens with one of the most bad ass magic fights we have had since the finale of Order of the Phoenix. The stunning visuals coupled with score of John Williams are breathtaking. That is, unfortunately, the peak of the movie. Shortly after this it spirals into a cluster of confusing plots, characters that go nowhere, and references that are shoved down your throat every few minutes to distract you from how boring this movie actually is. This truly saddens me to write because I am someone that will quite regularly throw in a Harry Potter movie to relax during a rough time.

There are so many main plots, sub plots, character arcs, and everything else that it is honestly just hard to follow. At the end of it I wasn’t sure what was important, what was going on, or if it was even over. Because of this it made the big twist at the end more confusing rather than anything else and I left the theater completely unsatisfied.

The actors in this are good. Eddie Redmayne as Newt is still amazing and the best part of this movie. The movie is less focused on him than the first one however and it suffers from it. I don’t believe it needed to be focused on him completely but if they didn’t want to they needed to make the other characters just as interesting. Jude Law as Dumbeldore was great but he had barely any screen time. Johhny Depp was a nice cast for Grindelwald, but they gave him nothing to do, wasting the character and actor at the same time. Any time spent with Credence, played by Ezra Miller, brought the movie to a screeching halt and we were with him a lot.

The icing on the cake for me was the references. References were everywhere, handed to you on a silver platter, trying to distract you from what you were watching by reminding you of the good times. But it didn’t work. I was only reminded that I wasn’t watching those movies instead. I wanted this movie to succeed on its own. I didn’t want it to rely on my love for its predecessor. A few call backs would have been fine, welcome even, but it was clear it KNEW it wasn’t good. It was clear it WANTED  me distracted and reminiscing.

Writing this review doesn’t make me happy. In fact it disappoints, and saddens me that I am writing it. But it is honest. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is boring, and expects to get by purely on your love of Harry Potter to make money with it’s next three movies. It is nothing more than a shameful cash-grab filler.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie review

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I have a Harry Potter tattoo. I just thought that should be noted before I write this review. I have a Harry Potter tattoo and a large obsession with the series… Needless to say my hopes were quite high for this movie and I’m happy to say they were not let down! Fantastic Beasts takes place seventy years before the events of Harry Potter and follows Newt Scamander on his trip to the states… You see, Newt has a case (that’s bigger on the inside) of magical creatures that he cares for and releases back into the wild. At this point in the world magical creatures are killed off because of the assumption that they are dangerous… Along the way he stumbles into a no-maj (a lazy U.S. way of saying muggle, which is SO much cooler), played by Dan Fogler, who basically plays the embodiment of every HP fan out there… Much like Harry Potter, this movie starts out fun and light-hearted but turns dark and grim near the end. Collin Farrell plays Graves, a man who is clearly bad from the start but has an amazing twist at the end… This was a fantastic movie, and a standalone great, despite being a spin off of one of the best series ever. I look forward to the massive series this will undoubtedly be.