Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review

Elizabeth Ugan, News Editor

   Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released to eager audiences on Friday, Nov. 16 following the success of the original Fantastic Beasts released two years prior. The movie followed the same characters, this time across London and Paris, as they fought against the inevitable rise of the dark wizard, Grindelwald. Though widely anticipated, the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, which will end with five movies, received mixed reviews.

  Many people walked into movie theaters expecting to witness a showdown between young Albus Dumbledore and Grindelwald, a villain fans of the Harry Potter book series will recognize as the predecessor to Voldemort who would also eventually be responsible for Dumbledore’s fame. However, contrary to assumptions, no such battle took place. Instead, the movie was primarily used to build up the backstories of well-known characters and introduce a slew of new ones.

  The many new characters in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald were a major part of what might have made the movie less enjoyable to audiences, especially those who had not read the Harry Potter series. The addition of Leta Lestrange, Theseus Scamander and of course Gellert Grindelwald complicated matters significantly and added a whole new level of tangled history to the plot. Even avid followers of the books were surprised by the character Nagini, who most know to be Voldemort’s loyal snake. With no mention of Nagini’s past in the books, it can be expected that her journey from her current state into the servitude of Voldemort will be at least partially explained. While the appearances of these new characters came with little to no context and left many viewers confused, it is very likely that their introductions in this movie will serve as vital catalysts to events in future installments.

  While the movie may have resulted in more confusion than satisfaction for some, there were undoubtedly a few reliable high points and elements to look forward to. One of the greatest assets of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was the casting. The creation of a new chapter of Harry Potter based movies has allowed for many recognizable names to be paired with a now very recognizable brand. Casting Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald caught the attention of many fans of the actors. True to its name, the continued inclusion of new creatures of the wizarding world worked to keep the movie light-hearted and exciting. However, the plot still felt heavy as it started to dive into what will likely be the beginning of a much deeper story.

  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald may not have lived up to its towering expectations, but that is not to say that the franchise is completely discredited. The second movie will serve as a transition from the introduction of the first to the true story that will probably begin in the third movie. One way to make the movie more enjoyable, especially for those that have not read the Harry Potter series, is to see it with someone who has. The Fantastic Beasts series still has a promising future with the creation of the third movie, slated to release on Nov. 20, 2020.