FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD Reviews Point To A Sequel More Filler Than Fantastic

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD Reviews Point To A Sequel More Filler Than Fantastic

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD Reviews Point To A Sequel More Filler Than Fantastic

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald continues the story of Newt Scamander but the first reviews for the movie are far from magical and it seems like this may be a rare misstep for J.K. Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a smart way to expand the Harry Potter franchise and with the sequel - The Crimes of Grindelwald - set to continue that story and introduce a number of characters from J.K. Rowling's series of novels, excitement is understandably high among fans. 

Unfortunately, the first reviews for the follow-up aren't great and while they're more mixed than outright negative (and even the bad ones are fairly positive), this movie sounds more filler than fantastic.

It sounds like there's simply too much going on with a lot of teases for the third instalment, a mistake many franchises have made over the years. To check out these reviews for yourself (they come from the trades, entertainment outlets, magazines, and more), all you guys have to do is click on the "View List" button below to check them out. 

At least it all builds to a massive battle between the forces of good and evil — a Rowling staple if there ever was one — that tears apart some key relationships, establishes others, and sets the stage for more drama and trauma to come. As impressive as the final showdown is (it’s easily one of the most impressive setpieces in this fledgling franchise) and as shocking as the film’s closing revelations are (yes, they really are), this magic needs a spell of its own. [C+]

SOURCE: Indie Wire

Politically, it’s on-point, on-the-nose, and in line with Rowling’s vocal rebukes to Trumpism. Dramatically, it’s thin, because the film makes the one significant defection to the dark side feel like a byproduct of story necessity, not credible motivation. Newt, meanwhile, never conveys anything resembling an impure impulse. He’s as tame as the cuddliest beasts stuffed into his suitcase, and even less fantastic than the series he headlines. [C]


This story would be thrilling and have space to do its juicy saga justice in a 500-page novel. In a 135-minute movie, it’s a bit jumbled and rushed. Several major characters, particularly rebellious government witch Tina (Inherent Vice's Katherine Waterston), don’t get a lot to do because there’s too much to squeeze in. With its callbacks to the Potter universe and a lovely eye for detail, The Crimes of Grindelwald has bags of intermittent charm and a warm familiarity. But too often, it feels like a beast that's been overburdened. [3/5]

SOURCE: Time Out

Its pedigree and behind-the-scenes talent ensure that “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is scattered with minor pleasures, mostly ornamental — the brassy filigree that summons up old worlds, the stray elf that reminds you of adventures past. There’s also the Zouwu, a charming monster with a catlike face and a long body that whips around like a Chinese New Year dragon, upstaging everyone who shares the screen with it. Yet, by the time Rowling has gathered all her story lines together and a somnolent Zoë Kravitz, as the slinky Leta Lestrange, is guiding you through another digression, the movie has loosened its grip on you. That tightens only when the story tantalizingly shifts to Hogwarts, where Dumbledore, fond memories and the promise of better stories await.

SOURCE: The New York Times

An enjoyable foray into JK Rowling’s imagination, bolstered by a more appealing Eddie Redmayne, but you can’t help feel The Crimes Of Grindelwald is still treading water until future chapters. [3/5]

SOURCE: Empire Online

The visuals in The Crimes of Grindelwald are just as mesmerizing as the performances. As I mentioned earlier, the opening scene sets the bar so high, but the visually striking moments continue throughout the entire film. Another scene that stands out is where Tina and Newt are in the Ministry of Magic in Paris and are jumping around on the archive shelves. There are multiple scenes like this that will spark the imagination of those watching in such a way that only J.K. Rowling can. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a magical must-see! A bolder and darker installment that builds upon the first and is sure to delight Harry Potter fans new and old. Remarking visuals, an engaging story, and an ending will leave most speechless as they quickly begin to count down the days before the third installment arrives in theaters. [8.5/10]

By the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald, the Fantastic Beasts series is two films and almost five hours into a loose web of plot that really begin to intersect only just before the credits roll. It’s the big-screen version of a Netflix series, an ineffective rehash with all the bells and whistles of the Harry Potter movies, but almost none of the magic that made them work.


And having directed the last four Harry Potter films and the first Fantastic Beasts, David Yates is the safest of hands as he juggles the magical mayhem with practised ease. Rowling recognises her audience has grown up and has skewed her writing to reflect it, so while the first Harry Potter was a PG certificate, this is firmly a 12A and may be too dark in tone at times for very young kids. I'm far from a hardcore Potter fan and yet I was spellbound throughout. [5/5]

SOURCE: Mirror Online

In contrast, Crimes of Grindelwald feels half-assed on every level, from the character motivations to the world-building. There's nothing specific or special about this version of Paris; you'll find a more magical portrayal of the city on any 99-cent postcard. Our returning heroes feel less familiar than they did when they were introduced in the last film, thanks to a rash of baffling decisions. And while it is possible, if you squint very hard, to make out some of the deeper themes at play here – like the pull of family, the weight of regret, and the dark allure of fear – the real driving force behind Crimes of Grindelwald seems to be a burning desire to set up a sequel. If only it had gone to the trouble of making me want to see one.

SOURCE: Mashable

The feeling here is dark throughout, with a trip to Hogwarts allowing some rare open skies. Fascist trappings lend the 1920s art deco-influenced sets a sinister air. Street scenes are lit like postcards of the time which fade in and out of colour. Grindelwald’s predictions are chilling. When Dumbledore conjures up a fog across London to shadow his conversation with Newt, it’s a reminder how the repeated sequels, theme parks, fake platform at Kings Cross and wand box sets have also overshadowed the exacting creative genius that lies at the heart of Harry Potter and all its cinematic iterations and spin-offs. There’s real magic here, and nothing fake about the emotions which guide it.

SOURCE: Screen Daily

This Fantastic Beasts film is as watchable and entertaining as expected and it’s an attractive Christmas event, but some of the wonder, novelty and sheer narrative rush of the first film has been mislaid in favour of a more diffuse plot focus, spread out among a bigger ensemble cast. There’s also a more self-conscious, effortful laying down of foundations for a big mythic franchise with apocalyptic battles still way off below the horizon. I would have liked to see a lot more from that superb performer, Katherine Waterston, but Redmayne’s Newt is becoming a real character: gentle, shy, with a childlike quality that doesn’t really change no matter how scary things get. [3/5]

SOURCE: Guardian

It’s also bold territory for a four-quadrant franchise effort in this day and age to be so ambitious, even if it’s occasionally to its own detriment. That Rowling wants to take mainstream audiences here, all while her early 20th century allegory increasingly resembles a prophecy of the 21st century to come, makes this its own kind of magic trick. [3.5/5]

SOURCE: Den Of Geek

The “Potter” saga is a rich, sprawling and beloved tale, and the inspired “Beasts” films are seemingly committed to filling in important nooks and crannies: Hufflepuffs and Slytherins alike will enjoy seeing Dumbledore as an emotionally troubled teacher decades before becoming Harry's eccentric mentor. “Crimes” is missing some of the goofy appeal of the original “Beasts,” where stopping lovable creatures from making a mess of the Big Apple comprised much of the conflict. But the world keeps turning and the threats get bigger for heroic wand-wavers, even the resident magizoologist.


“The Crimes of Grindelwald” probably had enough plot to drive a four-hour mini-series, but even so, what we get is often absorbing and grand. The sense that this magical world is actually, well, fantastic is finally back in the series. Although the film turns grim, and eventually evokes truly uncomfortable memories of the build-up to World War II — and, frankly, today — the delightful cast, exciting new creatures and dazzling new spells make it an enchanting place to visit; it’s just so scary and confusing that you probably wouldn’t want to live there.

SOURCE: The Wrap

As it stands, there are so many universes, monsters, baddies, references and foreshadowing going on it’s very difficult to keep up - although granted, it felt cosy to be reintroduced to certain parts of the world after all these years. It looks glorious and comes tantalisingly close to some groundbreaking storylines (#protectthesecrets) but you’ve got to have your wits about you to keep up. Potterheads will lap it up and there are enough cuddly beasts for the little ones, but had me cross-eyed with overplotitis.


For the serious fans who this series is meant for, the promise of at least six more hours of Fantastic Beasts action likely means a lot more thrilling beasts, barriers, and beats to explore. Everyone else may find that all the little personal bits of character business and frantic complications aren’t much of a substitute for a clear and compelling plot with a single meaningful protagonist. For all the perils of Chosen One stories like the Harry Potter books, at least they have a central focus. By taking the focus off of Newt and putting it on the vast world of his background characters, Crimes of Grindelwald takes a few troubled steps away from any sense of a center.

SOURCE: The Verge

Once Rowling and Yates have shown enough chase sequences or wizard fights that they can finally stop spinning their wheels and explain who Credence is, it’s a solid enough reveal that you’ll walk out of the theater semi-satisfied and curious where things go next. But ultimately, all the steps the film took to get there amount to so little, that feeling is as fleeting as its narrative. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is chapter two in a longer story that may look better once we see the rest—but, on its own, it fails to live up to its Harry Potter roots.


At 134 minutes, The Crimes of Grindelwald isn’t a breeze by any definition of the word, and it becomes exasperating when so much of it turns out to be filler, drawing out plot points that could easily be resolved in a 30-second conversation (a habit held over from the Harry Potter books, though those could hold their own ground). The movie dangles cohesiveness and satisfying conclusions in front of an audience that must return for a third installment of the series — if one that would be building off of the series’ weaknesses rather than its strengths. Please, for next time: more beasts, and fewer crimes. 

SOURCE: Polygon

Part of the genius of the “Harry Potter” series’ slow political awakening was Rowling’s innate ability to shadow-play genuinely complex ideas in appreciably kid-friendly terms. (“Order of the Phoenix’s” Dolores Umbridge offered as solid a primer for the works of Hannah Arendt as a middle-schooler is likely to find, and the travails of the Daily Prophet work nicely as a pocket history of the Murdoch empire.) Her allegorical abilities are more muted here, with the divisions between good and evil even starker, and Grindelwald’s blood-and-soil philosophies seeming less an interpretation of historical or present-day fascism than simply a thin, unimaginative echo. It’s still quite early in the “Fantastic Beasts” saga, but it’s hard not to worry about the franchise heading in a similar direction.

SOURCE: Variety

We are whisked from New York to London and then on to Paris. The plot has circus scenes, including South Korean actress Claudia Kim as the shape-shifting Nagini undergoing an extraordinary transformation, as well as chases and explosions. In one ill-judged montage, we peer into the future and the characters catch glimpses of the Second World War and of atomic bombs. With so different narrative strands, the storytelling risks becoming tangled. Even so, The Crimes of Grindelwald is rich and intriguing fare that will leave viewers impatient for the next sequel (if only so they can make more sense of what has been going on here.) [4/5]

SOURCE: Independent

Yet Depp grandstands in one more gimmicky, costume-driven performance, with one more plummy accent. That routine grew tiresome many movies ago. Thankfully, the actor has limited time onscreen here. (Yates and Rowling have defended his casting in the wake of domestic abuse allegations, which Depp has denied; completely apart from that, he is no help to this film.)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is another strong entry in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World saga. Rowling has improved upon the first Fantastic Beasts film by fleshing out her characters in a way that’s engaging, though not everybody receives as much attention. Both Johnny Depp and Eddie Redmayne are - forgive the pun - fantastic in their respective roles. [8/10]


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a film where what you get out of it is heavily dependent on what you bring into it. It's competently made, with David Yates bringing that familiar Harry Potter world aesthetic back for the sixth time, but your appreciation for it is going to entirely depend on the context in which you personally put it. It's a movie built special for aficionados of the Wizarding World, and while there's nothing wrong with that in this age of fandom, it's an element that demands consideration before purchasing a ticket. [3/5]

SOURCE: Cinema Blend

Rowling’s universe just got bigger and more complex, but Yates never forgets to sprinkle stardust on top. [5/5]

SOURCE: Total Film

DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Latest Headlines