WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
While powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was been captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) with the help of Newt Scamander, Grindelwald has escaped custody and set about gathering followers, most not suspecting his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student, Newt, who’s 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 wizarding world.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is bigger, better, darker and an entertaining meal for viewers to feasts their eyes on.
Let’s just be honest, J. K. Rowling is an absolute genius when it comes to telling magical stories that are, in so many ways, still relatable to the real world and its muggle/no-maj inhabitants. That is why the sequel to the enchanting Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was always destined to be a success – as will the future films be too.
In the first movie, our appetites were moistened with just enough to keep us wanting more, and more is what we got – more beasts, more magic, more darkness and more reason to fall in love with the wizarding world.
David Yates has done a brilliant job at bringing Joanne’s words to life. There is a lot going on in terms of special visual effects, colour and sound that I felt like I was watching the movie in 4-D at one stage. Everything ties together so masterfully, even if you’re not a fan of the film franchise and won’t understand a thing that is going on, you will still be hella impressed by the film itself.
With that being said, I did feel as though there was a lack of depth when it came to the individual characters, old and new, and their own journeys throughout the film. Granted there are three more movies to be made that will no doubt continue to share a little more about its characters each time, but there just wasn’t enough for me this time.
Because of this, some of the scenes went on a lot longer than they needed to making the movie feel dragged out just to reach an impressive 2 hour 14 minute length. Still, the amazing cinematography kept me entertained for the full duration.
Looking at the Fantastic Beasts stories as prequels to the massive Harry Potter franchise, Joanne definitely didn’t forget about her Potterheads. As the story takes Newt and his friends to Hogwarts, viewers take a trip down memory lane filled with tiny Easter eggs to satisfy their wizarding obsessions.
One character in particular who had Potter memories flood in immediately, was a much younger (and better looking) Professor Dumbledore played by Jude Law. I absolutely loved Jude as Dumbledore – his warm smile and calm voice was perfectly timed amid the havoc caused by his once close friend, Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) who, by the way, did a great job at playing the manipulative bad guy.
I enjoyed the other newcomers namely Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz) – who we briefly see in a photo in the first Fantastic Beasts – and William Nadylam (Yusuf Kama) as well, but sadly there wasn’t enough of Claudia Kim for me to make up my mind about Nagini just yet.
Aside from all the characters to enjoy, my favourite foursome - Newt (Eddie Redmayne), Tina (Katherine Waterston), Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob (Dan Fogler) – was the cherry on top. While they each have their own things going on, they are still the fearless foursome we fell in love with and will continue to root for in movies to come.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is yet another magical masterpiece in the wizarding world that fans, and even sceptics, will be enchanted by.