Magical action is stepped up a gear in the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts film series.
We left the Wizarding World in 2016, with Grindelwald safely detained and order restored to the streets of New York. Apparently not content with destroying only one city, 2018’s installment sees Grindelwald take his radical campaign to Paris.
“Everything looks simply stunning”
This film certainly continues to deliver the vast, colourful and detailed look of its predecessor. From gorgeous wide shots of cities, to the depths of Newt’s magical creature hotel – and let’s not forget the creatures themselves – everything looks simply stunning.
We get a fresh look at Hogwarts and another Ministry of Magic; the details and new material are a real treat for any Harry Potter fan. And in IMAX 3D, even Newt’s perfectly waved hair is raised to new levels of grandeur.
“Johnny Depp is an expertly unnerving Grindelwald”
Jude Law brings a wonderful flair to young Dumbledore, and it’s interesting to see the a more youthful energy from him, though he remains mysterious as ever. Johnny Depp is an expertly unnerving Grindelwald, and his composed, manipulative demeanor is both captivating and terrifying.
However, it was disappointing to have Dumbledore’s past love affair with Grindelwald (which has only ever been implied in series canon) reduced to “we were closer than brothers” with no elaboration and no solid visual cues.
“It’s a shame the franchise still appears to be shying away from inclusivity”
J.K. Rowling has been criticised in the past for lack of representation of all people in her work, and it’s a shame the franchise still appears to be shying away from inclusivity. Interesting as well is a plot point involving marriage equality – it’s a strangely executed reflection of real world events that makes one wonder if whoever wrote it in actually understands the problem.
The character of Leta Lestrange (who, particularly for Wizarding World fans, has been a source of much theorising) appeared on first watch to be little more than a device to move the plot forward. A lot of potential seems to be lost here; perhaps further character development is to be found in deleted scenes.
“Newt continues to be endlessly charming and a champion for proud Hufflepuffs everywhere”
As the last Harry Potter films did so brilliantly, Crimes of Grindelwald has a near-perfect mix of darkness and threat with light-hearted fun and laughs. Most of these, of course, come from Newt’s interactions with his creatures and occasionally his fumbled encounters with other people, too. Newt (Eddie Redmayne) continues to be endlessly charming and a champion for proud Hufflepuffs everywhere.
Visually thrilling, with plenty of action as well as heartwarming moments, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is well worth a trip to the cinema.
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Featured Image courtesy of Fantastic Beasts Official Facebook Page.