My Review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 I was able to attend an exclusive fan viewing of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the very anticipated sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was a box office hit in 2016. The Crimes of Grindelwald is the first out of four movies we will get from this dark time period in the J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise, which also includes 8 Harry Potter films. Now that I have had a few days to process the movie and compare it to others in this world I am ready to review the newest installment. Before I begin I want to preface this review with the fact that I am a huge Wizarding World fan, but that does not mean I do not think it has flaws and sometimes big fans are the harshest of critics, so I will be as fair as possible.

 

I will review this movie on a scale of 1-5 stars, with the categories of Characters, Directing/Cinematography, and Plot. I will also not go into a lot of detail for the sake of spoilers.

 

Characters: If there was one thing that surprised me in 2016 when the first Fantastic Beasts came out, it was how much I grew to love these new characters in just over two hours. The Crimes of Grindelwald did not disappoint in this area either. We got the new characters from this new franchise, but we also got to see beloved characters from the Harry Potter franchise, such as Albus Dumbledore, just younger. The acting was amazing, especially Eddie Redmayne who just embodied everything we already knew about Newt Scamander going into the first film, and now he has expanded his character even more in the second. I enjoyed learning about other new characters as well, but for some characters to shine it did mean some did fall flat. I think this is just a case of following too many characters at once. It wasn’t the biggest hit to the movie as a whole, mostly because there are 3 more movies to go and I still have hope for some deep dives into some of the characters.

 

Directing/Cinematography/Music: If there is one thing I did not exactly care for in this movie, it was the directing, especially in the first half of the movie. Something was very off-putting and almost out of focus when it came to the style. I think it was trying, at times, to be something more artistic than a children’s movie in its directing style, but it did get a lot better as the movie progressed. Some scenes were just amazingly shot, but others just seemed...off. On a lighter note, the scenes that were done properly were breathtakingly gorgeous. The colors, effects, and music in this movie created actual magic at times. I think the music more than anything truly impressed me. I didn’t leave the theater after the first one thinking about the score, but this one was just perfect throughout the movie.

 

Plot: When thinking about this plot I had to remind myself again that it was one movie out of five. I think most of this movie was spent building up to the next movies, which for a franchise this big is not a terrible thing, but can still affect the audience’s perception. The Crimes of Grindelwald had some fantastic moments of exposition and some beautiful sequences but lacked independence. I asked myself one question, “Would I be satisfied pulling up a streaming service one night and watching this movie by itself?” For all 8 Harry Potter films and the first Fantastic Beasts movie, the answer is yes, but not this one. It had some great plot moments, there was so much built on to this world, but that is all it was, building for another movie.

 

Bonus: BABY NIFFLERS 5/5 STARS FOR BABY NIFFLERS

So overall I decided to give Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 3.5/5 stars. It was beautiful, fun, and important to the franchise’s story, but could’ve used something extra. I still recommend anyone sees this movie if they loved the first one, anything involving Harry Potter, or just a beautiful movie.