FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD Review; "A Fantastic Reason To See Something Else This Weekend"

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD Review; "A Fantastic Reason To See Something Else This Weekend"

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD Review; "A Fantastic Reason To See Something Else This Weekend"

As J.K. Rowling continues to expand the Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald arrives in theaters this weekend but it sadly fails to live up to the high bar set by its predecessor.

When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released back in 2016, pretty much everyone assumed that it was a shameless cash grab by Warner Bros. to stretch out the Harry Potter franchise. However, what followed was an enjoyable romp with a lot of heart but this sequel is a total disappointment and the perfect example of everything that's wrong with follow-ups that do nothing more than set the stage for whatever comes next without focusing on the here and now anywhere near as much as they should.

Director David Yates was very hit and miss with his Potter movies and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is guilty of pretty much every misstep he made in those. There's a lot of shoddy direction here, not to mention choppy editing and a story which it's hard to believe was written by J.K. Rowling. 

Muddled and meandering, the two hour plus runtime drags and there's simply not much to enjoy here. Harry Potter fans are unlikely to appreciate the heavy-handed references to the author's previous work (why is Nicolas Flamel here again?) and the story is so weak, all it serves to accomplish is making you mildly interested in what comes next...or completely kill your interest in the franchise. The "Fantastic Beasts" are few and far between and honestly not that fantastic this time around. Rowling and Yates appear to have forgotten what made the first movie so much fun and these creatures feel shoehorned in to simply justify the title. 

While the principal cast does a decent enough job, it feels like they're all too aware that they're working with a subpar script. The supporting cast is downright awful, though, as the sequel is crammed full of dodgy accents and amateur dramatic level performances which it's hard to believe ever made it past the audition stage. Johnny Depp seems intent on scoring a Razzy too because this is yet another example of the actor playing a "weird" character and Grindelwald is neither particularly compelling or menacing; they should have kept Colin Farrell! 

There is thankfully one saving grace and that's Jude Law's Albus Dumbledore. He doesn't get anywhere near enough 
screentime and the scenes at Hogwarts will make you wish for a movie set there instead of Paris. His performance is fantastic, though, and it definitely appears as if the stage is being set for him to have a much larger role moving forward. The action is also solid enough but the magic seems less, well, magical this time around and there are some twists here which come across more dumb than anything else. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a bad movie regardless of whether you're a hardcore Harry Potter fan or a newcomer to this world who hopped on board when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released.

A fantastic reason to see something else this weekend, The Crimes of Grindelwald is a massive disappointment and the prospect of having to sit through three movie movies before this story is completed is downright depressing. Avoid. 


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