©2019 by Sean Whitehurst

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) <><>

The title of this movie doesn't make sense. A few new beasts are introduced but very little time is spent in Newt's suitcase seeing the creatures in their natural habitats. Grindelwald has already been put on trial and has been sentenced when the movie starts. I enjoyed Collin Farrell a lot more than Johnny Depp in the role but understand that Grindelwald had to be portrayed by someone other than Farrell.


This movie is somewhere between an exploration of the Harry Potter universe and a prequel to the Harry Potter movies. The indecision of where to center the movie is a determent. The first Fantastic Beasts is a better movie, but not as good as any Harry Potter films. By straying into prequel territory, Crimes of Grindelwald brings in too many familiar faces without giving them much to do. The fan service of name dropping famous families left and right is not done well. It comes across as a ploy to keep an audience interested in a weak story.


The McGuffin in the first Fantastic Beasts is interesting enough that the movie can stand on its own. I enjoyed figuring out the Obscurus. The McGuffin in Crimes of Gindelwald is weak and you can tell the entire movie is a setup. There is no payoff at the end of this movie to wrap it up. Each of the Harry Potter films can stand on its own except Deathly Hallows Part 1. Deathly Hallows Part 1 was a good enough movie to keep you interested even knowing that it was just half of the last book.


JK Rowling wrote both Fantastic Beast screen plays. She has made many comments about the Harry Potter universe since the final book was released, including that witches and wizards don't need toilets. She penned a seven book series of fantastic books for all ages. Her attempts to expand beyond that series further into the universe she created are nowhere near as good.


Many entities got too greedy with the Harry Potter universe. The Fantastic Beast series is supposed to have three more movies. If the second is this bad I hope they rethink the remaining movie plans. The Fantastic Beast series is slowly adding blemishes to the Harry Potter legacy.



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