I’d give Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 3 wands out of 5

(It should probably be 2.5 wands, but out of respect for Ollivander and not wanting to break a wand in half…)

My son and I went to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald this weekend, and for the second time seeing a movie in The Fantastic Beasts series, I walked away feeling bewildered, and disappointed. Not just at the confusing plot lines, mind you, but at how a movie with such a great cast, and such a wonderfully rich world like Harry Potter’s can continue to execute on movies in this way.

Alas, I’m probably sounding too critical.

The cast was very good. Johnny Depp was fantastic, but not to overshadow the great performances by everyone else, really. The acting was great across the board, in my opinion, no issues there.

The material has a ton of potential. It’s the Harry Potter universe, after all. The back story on the world, and some of these characters has left fans wanting more for years. Grindelwald… the American version of Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic over here… young Dumbledore…Lot’s to work with. Perhaps that was the issue.

The problem was the movie was just okay, and for me, that was largely due to the plot. You have a story of Grindelwald, his escape, and his attempt to win over the magical world with his seductive charm. That seemed to be the main theme they tried to convey. That’s all well and good, I suppose, but the other plot lines were more interesting to me. They should have been explored more thoroughly, and explained better. I won’t go into them because they lead to spoilers, and this is a spoiler free review. Instead, we get a fake love triangle, a hint at Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s past relationship, and other, either meaningless, or under developed storylines that just muddy the plot that’s brought to the forefront.

All in all, I feel like the movie tried to do too much with the wrong stories, and didn’t dive deeply enough into the ones I wanted to know more about.  This resulted in my disappointment on two fronts. First, the plot feeling all over the place, and slightly confusing, and second, the plot being relative to something I didn’t care much about. Furthermore, all the twists in the movie were apparent to me, except the last one, which is a big one, and that one even fell flat because of how it was delivered. 

I’m sure I’ll buy the movie when it comes out because it’s a Harry Potter movie, and because I want to give it another chance. Of course, that’s what I said about the last one…sigh.

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