In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided world.
Crimes of Grindelwald is the sequel to the prequel of the book adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding universe. The first Fantastic Beasts film is one that I enjoy quite a bit actually. There is a real innocence to that movie, that I enjoy. I liked the Crimes of Grindelwald for a variety of reasons, however it is undoubtedly more flawed than its predecessor.
As much as I hate to say it, I think most of the problems here derive from J.K. Rowling’s script. The film itself is just way too busy. There is just so much stuff going on that it’s hard to keep up with. I wouldn’t consider myself to be the most well versed person in terms of Harry Potter lore, but I feel like even someone who is a huge fan would have problems trying to decipher everything that’s going on. Some new characters are introduced, and not really close to being flushed out, and truthfully I’m still not sure about who they are.
As for some positives, JUDE LAW AS DUMBLEDORE. He really wasn’t in this film near enough for my liking. I found every one of his scenes to be incredibly interesting, and instantly became more interested in the film when he was on screen. Eddie Redmayne brings a lot to the role of Newt Scamander as well, and he is just as enjoyable here as he was in the first film. Johnny Depp is also quite good as Grindelwald, which surprised me a bit. Just about all of this film revolves around Ezra Miller’s character figuring out who his parents are. There is a big scene towards that is supposed to explain this where there are a bunch of flashbacks, and it is just almost impossible to follow.
There are some really good performances and fun set pieces, but what brings this film down is the jumbled script. This does seem like a bridge film to connect what I’m guessing is going to be quite a lengthy series. It does enough, but it feels so stuffed to the point where your head is spinning trying to keep up with everything that is happening. I did enjoy The Crimes of Grindelwald, but in terms of Harry Potter films this is probably toward the bottom of my rankings.