Review of FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD – Rated PG-13

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This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

Rated PG-13  – 2 hr. 14 mins

Director by:  David Yates

Cast:  Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Jude Law, Johnny Depp

The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series written by author J.K. Rowling following the adventures of magical zoologist Newt Scamander.

NO SPOILERS BELOW

Right off the bat I’m going to tell you FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD is not at all what you’re expecting it to be.  It’s not a bad movie, but it is more of a “filler” film and there are some very boring moments – in fact the 15 year old teenager sitting next to me actually fell asleep and started to snore half way through the movie…so that speaks for how engaging this movie was.  The problem with FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD is that there isn’t enough action to keep it’s audience fixed on the screen and the characters this time around are not as fascinating as they were in the first film, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM.  That film is the complete opposite of this new release because I couldn’t keep my eyes off the screen and I didn’t want to blink either because there was sooo much going on that I didn’t want to miss anything. There were loads of these strangely fantastic creatures scattered throughout the film and the special effects were a sight to behold.  Another reason why the first one was so good was because of the character Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler. He is what my brother and I call our “Scooby-Doo Hero”, which is a character that is thrown into these extraordinary scenarios, wanting at times to get out, but in the end becomes the most courageous character in the story (just like Scooby-Doo and Shaggy).  Jacob Kowalski is a “No-Maj” aka “Muggle” aka a person with no magic that the audience can relate to and follow along with on his journey discovering this new wizarding world and all these new “fantastic beasts”. In a sense, he is our new Harry Potter in these new series of movies, so I was extremely curious how they were going to incorporate him in FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD because at the end of the previous film his mind was wiped clean.  Now don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil anything for this new movie, but what I will say is that all the ways they connected these two movies and their stories were not very…umm…well…what’s the word I’m looking for…oh I know, creative. Which is very disappointing because J.K. Rowling wrote both of them and will be writing the next ones as well. I understand her reasoning behind why though, she wants to bring the main story of Jude Law’s younger version of Dumbledore and his relationship between Johnny Depp’s younger version of Grindelwald to the forefront.  And let’s ALL be honest here…that’s the main reason why we’re really going to these new FANTASTIC BEASTS films now. I’m man enough to admit that’s my main reason for wanting to see these films because it’s a great story and worth telling on the screen, but the problem is J.K. Rowling wrote the first film and Dumbledore wasn’t a part of it. Now that he is perfectly cast by Jude Law, Rowling has the opportunity to add more depth to the story, but must sacrifice at least one film to lay the groundwork and unfortunately it is this current release that has drawn the short straw.  FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD is not the best movie in this franchise and if included with the other HARRY POTTER films would rank very low on my list of which are the best. But it is a part of this series and does have some great easter eggs and Harry Potter lore scattered throughout it, so with that being said…it is with a sigh and a cringe that I must say…go ahead and see this one in the theaters – but only if you’re a fan of the HARRY POTTER books/films. Until next time, thanks for reading.

P.S. – There is no post credit scene.