BY KAYLA GATES
The release of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” has revived the “Harry Potter” craze. Fans wore their wizarding cloaks to crowded theaters for its opening weekend. While the film worked to satisfy these enthusiasts, anyone lacking this dedication to the original series may be disappointed.
The movie is the second installment in a spinoff series by J.K. Rowling. “Fantastic Beasts” tells the story of the wizarding world years before that fateful night when Harry Potter would lose his parents and be dubbed as “The Boy Who Lived.” The films feature characters and their relatives specific to the original “Harry Potter” series. After a successful opening weekend, the sequel has been projected to top its predecessor.
Younger audiences will appreciate the adorable companions Scamander makes along the way, adding to the magic of Rowling’s universe.
The movie begins with an intense action scene in which villain Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) makes a daring escape. The introduction is well-crafted, creating anticipation for the story that later unfolds. Viewers learn that Grindelwald has plans to turn wizards against mortals– also called “muggles”– and hopes to gain support for a war against the muggle world. With him and his associates on the loose, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) works to stop him. Fans of the original series will appreciate the familiar character; Law delivers an outstanding performance that will cause audiences to reminisce.
As returning main character Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels to Paris under Dumbledore’s orders, he encounters Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), ultimately assembling his old team.
One notable aspect of the film is the magical suitcase Scamander carries around to store his magical beasts. These creatures add a friendlier element to the intense story. The beasts, which resemble everything from dragons to plants, appear surprisingly realistic through outstanding special effects. Younger audiences will appreciate the adorable companions Scamander makes along the way, adding to the magic of Rowling’s universe.
In one of the movie’s biggest scenes, Grindelwald convinces many characters to pledge their allegiance to his cause. The characters present sentimental decisions that will touch viewers. Further, the team fails to stop Credence from joining Grindelwald, who poses a threat with his immense power. The scene’s significance will evoke emotion from its viewers.
Although a rather lengthy movie, humorous lines worked to keep viewers entertained.
The movie’s incorporation of Rowling’s original ideas will put a smile on the faces of true fans. For instance, viewers witness a flashback to Hogwarts, the focal point of the “Harry Potter” series. However, the overuse of these scenes seems like a desperate attempt for the movie to attract a larger audience. Regardless, “Harry Potter” enthusiasts will not be disappointed.
The most memorable moment for any viewer was the final scene. After a major plot twist, a brilliant turning point that will take audiences by surprise, viewers may be disappointed to see the credits roll. The movie ends unresolved, with Grindelwald and his associates free and stronger than ever. However, fans may be happy to learn that Scamander’s story is not over. The franchise has plans to finish the story in three more movies, although the wait may be torture.
Overall, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” contains many outstanding elements. The action scenes were visually satisfying, with stunning effects that put the film over the top. Additionally, the talented cast delivered great performances. Depp’s acting seamlessly introduced the franchise’s newest villain. Although a rather lengthy movie, humorous lines worked to keep viewers entertained.
In some ways, the film may fall short as a result of the fact that it features many elements from the original “Harry Potter” franchise that those unfamiliar with the series may not understand. Additionally, the movie contains a plethora of background information, especially when it comes to bloodlines. Watching the movies requires a lot of attention and processing to fully understand the plot and its connections to “Harry Potter.” For someone who has not been thoroughly exposed to Rowling’s unique and iconic world, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” may not be appropriate.
- Stunning visuals
- Likable characters
- Entertaining action scenes
- Humorous commentary
- Confusing plot
- Overload of information
Photo courtesy of The Fantastic Beasts Franchise