Movie Night: Fantastic Beasts 2

SPOILER WARNING!

Let me start by saying I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and when the Fantastic Beasts series launched, I was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to see wizards in America and get some backstory to the characters we’ve heard mentioned in passing like Grindelwald and Newt Scamander. The first movie was fantastic, a huge step forward in a new faction of the wizarding universe. But, when I saw one of my favorite actors, Johnny Depp, I was disappointed. I kind of hated seeing such a well-known face in this world, so I was honestly not super psyched about this new movie. And, after seeing the movie, I’m just confused. If you plan to see it, stop reading now, I don’t want to ruin any plot twists!

We open on Grindelwald in his jail cell, and to tell you the truth I legit thought they got another actor. I didn’t recognize Johnny Depp at all! After he escaped and got a shave and a haircut though, he was back to Johnny, and this made it hard for me to get used to him as the character. Looking at him I didn’t see Grindelwald, I saw a famous muggle actor that was trying too hard, but I digress. As the movie progressed, the first major plot twists hit: Newt’s brother is engaged to Leta Lestrange, Newt and Tina are not speaking, and Credence is alive (somehow?!). This was a lot at once, but okay I can get with this because it sets up the movie. But the twists just keep coming, and I’m not on board with all of them.

My first problem is with Queenie. Sure, she loves Jacob and wants to get married, but he’s resistant for her safety. But the Queenie shown in the first movie doesn’t seem like she’d go so far as to enchant him to get what she wants. Chalk it up to character development I guess, but I am just not a fan of Queenie’s sudden manipulative side. One could argue that this appeared a bit in the first movie in her constantly reading people’s thoughts, but she can’t really help that as seen in this movie when the thoughts get too loud. But this plot point is minute compared to the others I’ll discuss.

My second biggest problem is Dumbledore’s (and McGonagall’s) aging. After leaving the movie, my fiancé pointed out that in 20-odd years, Dumbledore somehow aged terribly! Suddenly he goes from Jude Law in a three-piece to Michael Gambon (if you’re talking about when he met with Tom Riddle in the late 30s). I’m sure the fight with Grindelwald aged him, but this is a huge jump in such a short amount of time. Also, Professor McGonagall is somehow at Hogwarts, which conflicts with the original canon timeline majorly. She didn’t become a professor at Hogwarts until the 50s, compared to her showing up somewhere between 1918-1920ish in this movie. The entire internet pretty much agrees it’s a major plot hole. Even with this, I still have one bigger beef with this movie.

How is Credence supposed to be Albus’s brother?! Even on Pottermore, it shows Albus as having two siblings: Ariana and Aberforth. Ariana was killed in a duel between Albus, Aberforth, and Gellert Grindelwald, and Aberforth can be seen in later Harry Potter movies living in Hogwarts. Never was there a mention of an Aurelius. The only way this could possibly make sense is if Credence (Aurelius) dies somehow and is basically erased from the family history. From what I can tell, the woman shown in the movie is Credence’s aunt (based on the IMDB page), which honestly leaves me with more questions! Which parent is she related to? Is Aurelius even Albus’s full-blooded brother or only his father’s son? How does this fit into the Harry Potter universe? I have so many questions and nowhere to turn!

Ultimately, I think that once they get out the other three movies, this movie will be better in comparison because it will make more sense. It seemed like they were trying to put a lot of plot points into one film to continue onto the next few. The first movie was the tester and went over well, so now they had to put everything into this one. I feel like they could have started building these into the first movie, but I understand why they didn’t. I can’t wait to see the next movie, but I think this will be my least favorite in this offshoot overall.

I would still suggest you see it anyway though. It’s not the best, but you might as well see it if you want to keep up with the Harry Potter franchise.