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

In the sequel to the successful 2016 spin off, Fantastic Beasts is back with its next installment. But is it going to put a spell on you like its predecessor? Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) reprises their role and it welcomes the infamous Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). The group of wizards attempts to stop the dark wizard Grindelwald‘s (Johnny Depp) plan of raising pure- blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings. Dumbledore recruits his former student Newt to fight against Grindelwald because he cannot move against him.

The story tests love and loyalty among the friends and family. The wizarding world is becoming increasingly divided and it is up to Newt and his friends to put an end to Grindelwald’s malicious plans. Many of the beloved characters from the first film are back with more comedy and emotion. The Crimes of Grindelwald takes a seemingly darker approach compared to its predecessor. A mysterious new plot is teased that reveals the true identity of Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Unfortunately the reveal is lackluster and if you’re a fan of the series you are only going to have more questions.

The film shines in giving the audience backstories for characters they didn’t know they needed. Despite the controversy around Nagini (Claudia Kim) being played by an Asian woman I feel that they did her character justice. You truly feel for her and wonder what happened along the way to make her Voldemort’s minion. The one issue I have with the sequel is the film’s name Fantastic Beasts. I do not believe the film should be considered apart of the franchise. Yes there are numerous magical creatures, but the film focuses on Grindelwald now. There is no need to keep a name just because you started it off that way. The original franchise always kept “Harry Potter” in the name. I don’t think this new franchise should be burdened with Fantastic Beasts. The Audience knows that this is a continuation so why not simply call it The Crimes of Grindelwald?

Fantastic Beasts teases the entire cast in the trailers only to reveal that they will be separated for majority of the film. What made the original work so well was the chemistry and family bond they shared. When you watch this film you wonder why every major plot from the original has been over turned thus making the film irrelevant. Deceased characters are brought back and wizards are released. What was the point of the first film other than introduce us to magical creatures that are barely in the sequel? This film is too focused on the grand finale being the second of a five part epic. For most it may seem like a middle chapter that has little to no consequence for the characters or the plot. The series is leading up to something big but it leaves this film in the dust. If there are still three films in the making I hope they learn from their mistakes and give the audience real consequences to look forward to.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Johnny Johnny (Senior Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.
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