Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ★★★☆☆

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ★★★☆☆
Humpo Show Rating | 6.5
IMDb Rating | 7.0 
Starring: Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Zoe Kravitz, Claudia Kim, Dan Fogler, Callum Turner, Jude Law and William Nadylam
Director: David Yates
Plot Summary: The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World featuring the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander. (IMDb)

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.

The film has many pitfalls that feature from the screenplay – the large amount of sub-plots being the primary one. It is even more noticeable in the film with the glossing over of characters and the storyline attached to them. This is the case for every character and storyline in the film – none of them seem developed enough. Tina, Jacob and Queenie are all there but always seem on the periphery of the action. The Newt-Tina…’romance’…if you can call it that, is very brief and seems odd given that there is very little development between them as a couple from the first film. Jacob and Queenie are a mess – there’s no jokes that hit the mark and Queenie is a completely different character just to ensure that it fits with a storyline arc that Rowling wanted to shoe-horn in.

Obviously I don’t want to give away the ending, but I have to have a couple of sentence on it – it is quite frankly one of the worst decisions Rowling has ever made. Just plain awful storytelling.

Let’s move on to some positive aspects of the film! The visuals were great on the whole – there a few scenes which seemed too hectic – and I especially liked all the dark imagery and scenarios connected with Grindelwald’s storyline, which so happened to be the strongest in the film. The unveiling of the banners in Paris was a memorable image and one of several that reminded me of Voldemort and his Death Eaters in the later Potter films.

I also really liked how they managed to create Newt’s basement full of magical beasts.

Another positive was Grindelwald. Although ethically, Johnny Depp was an unpopular choice among many fans of Rowling’s wizarding world, he does seem to have taken the role of Grindelwald and made it his own. Did Rowling choose Depp for the villain given that he is seen as a bit of a villain in real life? Possibly. Depp was allowed to give a good performance as Grindelwald as he had the most solid and interesting storyline out of every character – Newt’s was too messy and Credence’s dragged on a bit. Depp has many scenes to showcase the bad-ass-ery of Grindelwald – the opening sequence, the quiet plotting in Paris and the showman’s performance at his rally.

The film is the worst in the wizarding world franchise, mainly due to the various undeveloped sub-plots, poor decision-making from Rowling and ending. Visually appealing and with an intriguing villain – there is some hope that the franchise can recapture the magic that it lost in this film.

The Humpo Show | Richard

9 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ★★★☆☆

  1. I have heard so many negative reviews about it. I can’t say as I’m a huge Harry Potter buff as I’m not big on dark filmography, but I truly did love the beautiful wonder of Fantastic Beasts, just the right balance of cold darkness and vibrant color.

    So Sad to hear that this seemed so forced and rushed so far as story development.

    • Me too – there is only really one moment of wonder (Newt’s basement). It is a shadow of the first film.

      Hopefully Rowling will take head of all of the criticism the film has got and make sure the next one rectifies it.

    • Me too – I think she has five films planned so there is room for her to turn things around. The tone and feel of the film was correct for the first film – she just needs to get back to that and create something that is fun, magical and appeals to families, rather going further down the dark route.

  2. I agree with this 100%. The sheer amount of subplots and bad characterization were just unbearable. But I loved the tone and the visuals and the setting of Paris, so it wasn’t entirely a wasted two hours. I also loathe Depp as a person (and am a Farrell fan to an irrational degree) but even I had to admit that Depp was perfectly fine in the role. I expected him to be the film’s biggest problem, but that was not at all the case.

    • Given the backlash when he was chosen for the role, I was a bit wary of writing about how he actually performed well in the role as I was expecting some Potter fans to bemoan me for praising him.

      • There’s definitely a difference between ‘well, we’re stuck with him so I guess we might as well admit he was decent’ and ‘his miraculous performance excuses ALL OF HIS FLAWS as a human.’ But the internet tends not to like nuance so I don’t blame you for being wary!

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