Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Directed by David Yates

Written by J.K. Rowling

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Carmen Ejogo, Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller

Newt Scamander (Redmayne) finds himself in the middle of a dangerous struggle when the criminal Grindelwald (Depp) begins the put a terrible plan into motion.

David Yates (The Tichborne Claimant) returned to the world of wizards to direct this followup to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is his sixth time directing a story written by J.K. Rowling. The cast of this one features a long list of big names including Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Johnny Depp (Black Mass), and Jude Law (Gattaca). Katherine Waterston (Alien: Covenant), Carmen Ejogo (Selma), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road), Dan Fogler (Kung Fu Panda), and Ezra Miller (Justice League).

J.K. Rowling wrote a decent followup to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The early moments of the film jump right into the action. The action is actually where the best moments of this one are found. There are still some comedic elements, but this one isn’t a lighthearted at the previous film. The twists and turns keep this one from being predictable, but sometimes the multiple arcs seem to get a little over-complicated. There are also some character introductions that are unnecessary additions to an ever-growing world. Much like other series, this one doesn’t have a great ending. It’s not abrupt, but it does leave a lot of unanswered questions. This was expected, with three more films already in planning. Overall, this is a solid film that fans of the franchise will enjoy.

The performances in this one are all solid. With so many unique characters, there is always the chance that someone overplays their part or doesn’t fund the right approach to the material. That was not an issue with this one. The returning cast members all bring back their characters with more great work. Their performances all reflect the shift in tone from the first film. Redmayne is great in this role, and he adds a layer of complex emotion to his performance this time around. Fogler also does a great job with one of the more fun characters in this one. The new faces also add a lot to the film. Johnny Depp does a wonderful job bringing a very unique villain to life. Jude Law also adds a special performance of his own. Overall, this is a well-acted film by a great collection of performers.

This one looks incredible. The digital effects throughout this film are all top-notch. The many creatures created for this movie are impressive. The costuming, locations, and makeup also add a lot to the world of the story. The score by James Newton Howard (Red Sparrow) is excellently written, and accents the movie perfectly.

This is a nice followup that should appeal to fans of the first movie. While the story isn’t as well-written, there’s still a lot of great moments. This one also pays homage to a number of characters and elements of the Harry Potter books and films. If you’re a fan of any of the stars, this is one to check out. If you haven’t seen the first film, make sure to check it out. I give this one 3.6 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 134 Minutes

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