Written by Shiggins
The first Fantastic Beasts movie from 2016 was an unexpected enjoyment, escaping the drama of Harry Potter's life and embracing brand new characters with different locations, spells and great creatures, to create the beginning of a film series that I never knew I wanted. So that does place some amount of pressure on the sequel and the franchise as a whole. Does it show?
Note: Spoilers for the previous movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, will be in this article, as well as some minor spoilers for the Crimes of Grindelwald.
|Oh no! Is he going to hurt the Eiffel Tower?!|
If it sounds like there's a lot going on in this plot, that's because there bloody is! On top of needing to stop Grindelwal, the film has to deal with Newt's awkward relationship with his brother Theseus, his childhood friend Leta Lestrange, the drama Jacob is going through, what Credence's goal is, and even more. It's chaotic! It's crazy! It's too much! It's obvious that a lot of these plots are to impact future instalments in the franchise, but you could have cut out a few and not missed a thing. Remember that ridiculous "brother running for mayor" subplot in the last movie that was unnecessary and hasn't returned? I have a feeling that at least three of the subplots in this film will suffer the same fate.
|Well.... Dumbledore certainly had some unique tastes.|
And oh boy, there are a lot of characters! Newt, Jacob, Tina Goldstein (we'll talk about her soon), Queenie, Credence, Leta Lestrange, Theseus, Nagini, Dumbledore, Grindelwald, Grimmson, Abernathy, Yusuf... All of whom are important in their own way and demanding as much development as they can get. Poor Nicholas Flamel, who was built up quite a bit, only gets two scenes. Everyone plays their roles well, especially the actor Joshua Shea as a young Newt, but not everyone is as welcome.
|This looks like a screencap of the craziest gangster movie ever!|
"Tina, I need to..."
Shut up Tina, you miserable cow.
|The stuff with Nagini is... interesting, but I need to see how the sequels go before I properly decide on her. The actress was really good though.|
The other stars of this film are the locations. One of the best features of this franchise is it's decision to leave the country and explore the world. Paris is our main focus here, but we see places in America, Germany and more across this wide film. Whenever you see a place of magic, the film takes advantage of it in unique and beautiful ways that I don't want to spoil. Sometimes a bit too childish, but always charming.
Around the halfway point, I began to worry about what this film was doing as it started to slow down from the stories it had created, but the third act brilliantly brings it all together and is a suitable finale. After an awkward exposition dump where reveal after reveal is given to us, the film absolutely shines for the third act and the audience is blasted by emotions, performances and effects that director David Yates should absolutely be proud of. And surprisingly, it gets quite dark! There might be less jokes in this film than the first one, but that's been replaced by some heavy heart and shocking moments of humanity, manipulation, anger, trickery and pain. This film took risks, and I personally felt they paid off spectacularly in the end.
|Grindelwald is the best character, but Jacob is the most underappreciated.|
Fantastic Beasts; The Crimes of Grindelwald is not a flawless movie. It's bloated to the point of nearly breaking, and some of the creative decisions made are questionable at best. However, some great performances, a truly engaging villain that manages to avoid being Voldemort 2.0, and a finale that neatly ties everything together while building up for the future manages to keep it from destruction. A lovely movie that I'm sure I'll enjoy even more once this series is finished.
Movie Rating: 8/10
Best Part: The third act of Grindelwald.
Worst Part: Tina's drama.
Best Performance: Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald.
|This guy's performance as a young Newt was so accurate I had to check they didn't just "de-age" Eddie Redmayne. That's how impressive it is.|
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/