Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Just the title sends shivers of excitement down the spines of fans of the Harry Potter universe. Fans are finally getting to see the story of Gellert Grindelwald, the most famous dark wizard of all time, unfolding right before their eyes, and like anything that J.K. Rowling puts out into the world, it is a masterpiece from start to end.

The Plot

The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up months after the events of the first Fantastic Beasts film. Newt has had his right to travel internationally suspended after indirectly destroying half of New York. Grindelwald is being transferred to Europe to be prosecuted for his crimes. During the transfer, Grindelwald escapes and heads towards Paris to begin a nefarious plot to hunt down Credence, who is also in Paris hunting for his family. After running into his old friends Jacob and Queenie, Newt learns that Tina is also in Paris, and after a slight nudge from Albus Dumbledore, Newt and Jacob set off for Paris.

New People

Among the new faces in The Crimes of Grindelwald are Newt’s estranged brother Theseus Scamander, an Auror whose department has been sent to track down Credence. He is joined in this hunt by Newt’s old friend and his fiance, Leta Lestrange, distant relative to the infamous Bellatrix Lestrange. While in Paris, Credence befriends a Maledictus named Nagini, who fans of the Harry Potter franchise are very familiar with. Newt and Tina end up meeting Yusuf Kama, Leta’s half-brother who is determined to kill Credence.

Also making their debuts are a young Albus Dumbledore and Nicholas Flamel, who fans know as the producer of the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for not America).

How are the returning folks?

Newt, Tina, and Jacob are all relatively the same. Newt is still an eccentric lover of animals who doesn’t have the capacity to do wrong. Tina still puts her job above everything and relentlessly tracks Grindelwald, and Jacob, although he is more willing to go along with the adventure this time around, is still just a hapless No-Maj with a love for baked goods and Queenie. The characters who really get to shine this time around are Grindelwald, Credence, and Queenie.

SPOILERS START NOW

Gellert Grindelwald

Grindelwald truly gets to shine this time around. He shows off his mastery of magic within the first ten minutes as he effortlessly defeats his captors. In the film’s climax, as Grindelwald addresses the gathering of his followers, his persuasiveness is on full display. He truly believes in his cause, and, as the movie hints, thinks that he can stop the second world war from happening. As far as acting goes, Johnny Depp absolutely kills in this performance.

Credence

The entirety of the film revolves around the hunt for Credence. The incredibly powerful Obscurial only becomes more powerful in the Crimes of Grindelwald. Credence has come a long way since Fantastic Beasts 1. He appears to have significantly more control over his powers than he did in the first film, and while he doesn’t display much magic in this film, the few moments that he does show that he is one of the most powerful beings in the Harry Potter universe.

Queenie

Queenie arguably has the most interesting arc of the entire movie. She only wants to marry Jacob, something which is forbidden by MACUSA rules. She also appears to lose control of her legilimency abilities when she is worried, as shown when she is overloaded by the thoughts of bystanders while looking for Newt and Jacob. After a tense meeting with Grindelwald, Queenie appears to be conflicted throughout the rest of the film. During the gathering of Grindelwald’s followers, Queenie ends up being one of the wizards to pledge allegiance to the Dark Lord, much to the dismay of Jacob.

Cool Cameos

Cameos

The Crimes of Grindelwald features two very amusing cameos.

The first occurs when the Ministry officials, led by Theseus, arrive to question Dumbledore, who is in the midst of a Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson. The students are asked, quite rudely, to leave the room, before Dumbledore asks fellow Professor McGonagall to escort the children out. McGonagall, known to fans as the aging professor of transfiguration at Hogwarts during Harry Potter’s time, appears again in a flashback to Newt’s time at Hogwarts. This raises massive confusion to fans of the franchise, as McGonagall has a canon birthdate of 1935. Perhaps a retcon is in the works.

The second of the two cameos comes in the form of a flashback to Leta’s past. She reveals that she was sent to America by her father with her younger brother Corvus. En Route, the ship they are on sinks, and veiwers get to see Leta and her son make their escape on a lifeboat. Given the time of the sinking, the look of the lifeboats and life vests, and the brief glimpse of the ship itself, it is entirely possible that the ship Leta and Corvus were on it none other than the Titanic.

What comes next?

As was seen in the trailers, and confirmed by fans who know when Dumbledore and Grindelwald have their famous duel, The Fantastic Beasts franchise is leading up to World War 2. Just where Fantastic Beasts 3 will take place remains to be seen, but one thing remains clear: A wizarding war unlike anything fans have ever seen is on its way.

Conclusion

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is an amazing film. It manages to expand Rowling’s world while also telling a unique story. The score is fantastic, the action sequences are tense, and all around it is a solid movie. There are a few minor plot holes, but nothing that takes away from the overall enjoyment of the movie.

Good

  • Good Pacing
  • Solid Plot
  • Amazing Villain
  • Excellent setup for next installment

Bad

  • Nothing really, if anything, the minor-est of minor plot holes
10

Perfect

Story - 10
Acting - 10
Setup for a sequel - 10
Plot Twists - 10
Connections to Harry Potter films - 10
Special Effects - 10
I do cool things. I write cool stuff. I'm just living my life the way I want to: Little Sleep, Lots of Netflix.
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