Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ★★★☆☆
J. K. Rowling
Genre(s) | Fantasy, Young-Adult, Screenplay
Goodreads Rating | 4.28
Humpo Show Rating | 3.00
Publisher: Little, Brown
Gellert Grindelwald – a dark and powerful wizard – escapes from the authorities and sets about gathering followers with a vision for a pure-blood wizard rule. Newt Scamander somehow finds himself entrusted with the responsibility of finding the person that is central to Grindelwald’s plans for domination – Credence.
With any book or screenplay that Rowling puts her name to, there will always be hype. Crimes of Grindelwald is no different, and for me it falls quite far short of the standard she has set. There are too many sub-plots; a few issues with continuity; some poor decision-making from Rowling regarding the ending; and to be honest, the plot wasn’t entertaining.
The screenplay sees Newt reunite with Tina, Jacob and Queenie – although it is definitely not like last time. Queenie is a shadow of her former self that entranced everyone in Fantastic Beasts. Jacob is on the periphery and his lines that were meant to comedic, missed the mark entirely. The Tina-Newt ‘romance’ develops at a snail’s pace, and her Auror skills aren’t showcased very well at all. Newt, our main protagonist in Fantastic Beasts, didn’t feel much like a lead in this instalment as he shares the stage with Grindelwald, Credence, Leta Lestrange and Albus Dumbledore. What did I say about too many sub-plots…
Essentially, the whole story revolves around Credence’s identity. As the saying goes, “it’s the journey, not the destination”. Rowling misses the mark on both counts: the journey is tiresome and not exciting; while the destination is poorly chosen.
To speak of something positive – Rowling does manage to cement a personality for Grindelwald; his wants, desires and vision are all clear. On the whole, his speeches were consistent and evocative, which reflect his awesome power and capabilities. I can’t wait to see the special effects in the film that showcase off his magic.
I would have loved to have seen Newt and team having adventures around the world with a myriad of villains, beasts and stories. But alas, I can see Rowling continuing down the path she has set in this screenplay – and loyal Potterheads will continue to read the screenplays and watch the films in the hope that she eventually manages to recreate the magic she captured in the Potter series. I’m not holding my breath though.
The Humpo Show | Richard