November 15, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in theaters on November 16th, 2018.

Our favorite magical zoologist, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) returns in the second film of the Wizarding World franchise. Newt is instructed by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to go to France, find Credence (Ezra Miller) and disrupt Grindelwald’s evil plan to divide the Wizards from the muggles.

Ok my first issue is the title “Crimes of Grindelwald”. It’s very deceptive and misleading because here I am thinking we’re going to see Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) stirring up all kinds of trouble. I imagined him running rampant though the city causing all kinds of mischief but no - we barely see him at all. For someone who the movie is named after he certainly wasn’t the focus. The focus of the movie is actually Credence, he’s trying to figure out who his parents are and it becomes a very convoluted journey to get there. I would have liked to see more of Grindelwald, Johnny looked great and was very believable as the evil genius wizard.

We see a young Dumbledore and return to Hogwarts. There’s a couple surprises and that felt nostalgic but I feel they relied too heavily on that.

I can’t say enough about how much I love Newt! Eddie Redmayne is amazing and the world they have created for him and and the creatures is absolutely beautiful. I love his portrayal and delivery, I can’t say one bad thing about him. The friendship between Newt and Jacob (Dan Fogler) is my favorite in this series, they just have so much natural chemistry and it works!

Back to issues - Ilvermorny... where is it?! We didn’t see it in the first film or the second. Why even promote that there is a North American school if they don’t even show it? I got sorted into Horned Serpent but don’t even know what the school looks like. I’m very bothered too that this takes place in Paris. I just didn’t get the Parisian vibe.

This movie is also very dark. Think Deathly Hallows dark and go a little further. I think kids would enjoy the creatures and some of the really cool Wizarding scenes but tonally overall it’s just a deep, dark hole.

Obviously I’m way on board for more of these movies, and baby nifflers. I’m way on board for a movie that is just about baby nifflers. This one just didn’t hit the mark.

Rating: 3 out of 5

AshleyKAshley K. (Contributing Editor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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