Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Film Review – A Butterbeer Away From Perfection

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
November 8th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On November 8, 2018
Last modified:November 12, 2018

Summary:

David Yate's sequel does everything it needs to and doesn’t overfill the pint of Butterbeer with unnecessary gunk


Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On November 8, 2018
Last modified:November 12, 2018

Summary:

David Yate's sequel does everything it needs to and doesn’t overfill the pint of Butterbeer with unnecessary gunk

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Film Review - A Butterbeer Away From Perfection

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided world.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures long-running Wizarding World has been an essential part of the Hollywood industry since the live-action Harry Potter, and the Philosopher's Stone adaptation took over the world in 2001. Banking on the series immense popularity at the time, J.K. Rowling's universe of spells excelled on the silver screen making a whopping $7.7 billion at the global box office. For kids who grew up in the 2000s, Warner Bros. Pictures acclaimed Harry Potter series was the talk of the town - something kids would talk about for hours on end and even have make-believe duels in playgrounds across the country. It focuses on school life and wizards connected to our generation, as it was a step away from boring reality.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ended the franchise with a bang, it was an emotional time for fans seeing their titular character grow up before their eyes. Several years after Harry Potter concluded, Warner Bros. Pictures shifted their sights to J.K. Rowlings “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” novel which played an essential part in Hermione Granger’s library visits, as the next big thing in the Wizarding World.

And we got that franchise continuation with J.K. Rowlings Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) that expanded upon the already glorious world that got readers lost in for a decade. Fantastic Beasts (2016) has kickstarted a whole new era of Wizards/Witches, as the long-running franchise broke away from Harry Potter’s adventures - instead, it relied on American spell casters and fantastic creatures that all felt like a good fit for J.K Rowling's world.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) grossed a whopping $814 million, making it amongst 2017’s highest grossing releases leading to a sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald that follows Newt Scamander and marks the return of famous headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Following up a solid fantasy outing can be tough and has proven to be fatal in various areas. J.K Rowling writes the script for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is set to be a darker chapter in the long-running series. All eyes are on watch, but does it work? ComiConverse is excited to dive back into a world of Wizards and Witches.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) takes at the end of the first film, as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) plan was exposed by Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America). But like any movie, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets out to rule the world with his dark followers - leading to Newt (Eddie Redmayne) and Dumbledore (Jude Law) in solving his most significant case yet.

Storywise Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) delivers the darkest outing to date, as “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling tackles strong themes including racism in the wizarding world and secrets. Director, David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) makes a more exciting sequel that its predecessor, focusing on character dynamics and builds the universe with new facts. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald script, on the other hand, does alienate new readers to the series with obscure callbacks sprinkled throughout the 2-hour runtime.

Oscar Winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) returns in his beloved role as Newt Scamander, a quirky beast handler that somehow gets involved in a bidding Wizarding War leading him to uncover secrets. New threats arise, as the evil Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) commits to bringing in a unique twisted order for wizards and witches. Eddie Redmayne brings another quirky performance to the table, as his full of life persona melts audiences and allows for solid scenes with Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore.

Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything) sells the idea of being a quirky sense of hope within the dark world - I adored seeing Newt Scamander lovable personality flutter in this historic surroundings. J.K. Rowling’s script allows the Newt Scamander role to shine again, which is a needed distraction from darker elements in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald (2018).

 

Newt Scamander’s closest friends Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) return to proceedings - delivering a strong performance as they prepare to stop Grindelwald in his tracks. I enjoyed their roles more this time around, as they’re given more things to do and propel J.K. Rowing’s story forward. Director, David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) does his best in making sure each of these actors talents are on show during the 2-hour epic sequel.

Jude Law (The Talented Mr Ripley) joins proceedings as the most potent and influential British wizard of all time Albus Dumbledore, who shares a historical past with villainous Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). He has to put emotions behind him, to defeat a long lost friend from taking over the world. Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald features a less experienced Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), a wise professor that offers Newt Scamander's guidance in the darkest hour - providing emotional substance in an era hell-bent on destruction.

Jude Law (The Talented Mr Ripley) brings his spin to the wise and charming wizard, delivering some of the most emotional scenes in the run-time - as he tries to save his friend Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) from such dreadful crimes in the wizarding world. I loved the updated approach to such a strong character from J.K. Rowling's legendary book series, who comes across more human and sophisticated in this outing.

Last on not least, Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) plays the evil dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, lover of creating mass violence and chaos around the glove with his new Wizarding World Order that believes in the superiority of magic users in society. He shares a strong connection with the famous professor Albus Dumbledore, which is the topic of discussion in the two-hour runtime.

Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) gives us one of his best performances, as the famous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald - terrifying audiences with his twisted motivations and vile hatred for non-magic folks. Director, David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) makes sure to not rely on the famous over-acting that's hampered Johnny Deep for years - instead allows him to provide a terrifying performance.

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Verdict

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) is a solid sequel which builds upon the foundations seen in prior “Wizarding World” outings - it might not reinvent the fantasy market offers tons of fun for book lovers. The darker subject matter makes for a more enjoyable romp for audiences, as J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter) pulls out all the stops for your entertainment enjoyment.

Director, David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) produces another thrilling chapter in the “Harry Potter” prequel series, which takes itself much more seriously this time and doesn’t waste time in building up future instalments instead feels like a standalone piece of cinema. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) does everything it needs to do, and doesn’t overfill the pint of Butterbeer with unnecessary gunk. Fans and lovers of Harry Potter’s Wizarding World will adore this instalment!

What did you think about the movie? Plan on checking it out next week? Let us know below

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald releases on November 16th 2018 in IMAX 2D and 3D screens.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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David Yate's sequel does everything it needs to and doesn’t overfill the pint of Butterbeer with unnecessary gunk

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