Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts; Crimes of Grindelwald
Updated: May 27, 2019
‘The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school’
IMDb 6.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes 37% Metacritic 52
Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables, Pillars of the Earth,
Katherine Waterston (Boardwalk Empire, Alien: Covenant)
Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands)
Ezra Miller (Batman vs Superman:Dawn of Justice, Justice League)
Fantastic Beasts and its sequel brings some additional depth into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World by laying out some of the groundwork leading to the Harry Potter films that take place some 70 years after the events of these two films (and future films). There are a total of 5 films planned for the Fantastic Beasts franchise but unfortunately the next chapter has apparently been pushed back due to the new Dune adaptation being discussed.
Fantastic Beasts takes the American spin on the world of magic and how to deal with the no-Maj (Muggles) of society. However, Grindelwald pushes for a world where wizards aren’t forced to hide from the no-Maj and tries to push for wizard supremacy and domination. A number of the characters are forced to make the decision on which side they will stand be it with Grindelwald and his idea of supremacy or the maintenance of hiding magic from the no-Maj society’s eyes.
What stood out to me during the film was the casting of the characters in the films. Everything just appeared to fit like a jigsaw puzzle. Similarly to the Harry Potter films I can’t picture anyone else in the roles that were chosen. Each actor or actress wasn’t exactly top-notch but they all brought something to the table. Depp plays a solid villain in Grindelwald and it will be interesting to see what Depp brings to the character in the future sequels that are planned
It could be due to the fact that the story takes place much earlier than the original Harry Potter series but it never really felt to me that it was even in the same world. Aside from the mentions and brief appearances by Dumbledore and a quick glimpse of Hogwart’s here and there. It didn’t appear to be in the same ilk. It bared the resemblances of the previous franchise but only scratched the surface. Perhaps I was looking for a deeper connection between the two and my expectation was higher and it may appear in the future films but these two didn’t do it in that fashion for me.
If you are a Harry Potter fan and you haven’t seen these I’m not sure why you are reading a review of them at this point. Even if you aren’t a die-hard Harry Potter fan but enjoyed them as I did then you should enjoy these films as well. I am actually looking forward to the completion of this series to do a chronological viewing of them at the end as I did with the Lord of the Rings franchise after the release of The Hobbit.
The Mountain Man’s final thoughts are that the films are solid enough. I enjoyed them but I have to disagree with a number of colleagues that stated they were better than the original Harry Potter franchise films. That is a pretty bold statement that I would disagree with but I won’t take away that these films are good just not as good as the original franchise themselves. But if you wanna go by box office numbers they didn’t do as well the originals either.
3.5 Beards out of 5