The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series is now in theaters nationwide. Does it live up to the hype? Will Potterheads love it? Find out these answer and more in my Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review.
Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review
Let’s begin our conversation with this disclaimer: I am a huge Potterhead. I am also raising two little Potterheads (we’re currently smack in the middle of Prisoner of Azkaban, thank you), so it takes a serious misstep for me not to love all things Wizarding World. A glutton for punishment, I read some of the reviews for this one ahead of time anyway (even though I know better), and they were not very kind. In fact, many of them were downright depressing to read! I really tried to see what the critics didn’t like about it, and I guess I’m far less harsh of a judge than they would like me to be. Now that you know where I stand in my fandom, let’s dive in!
The Crimes of Grindelwald Screenplay
No Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review would be complete without a comment on the story. JK Rowling penned the screenplay, and I believe it shows in the final product. This is both a good critique and a somewhat tough critique. Jo is a master storyteller, but occasionally that doesn’t translate the same way to a movie. This story already assumed a certain knowledge of the movie goer, and it also assumed we would be able to keep up with its pace. I’m probably going to go to my local bookstore and buy a physical copy of the screenplay because I have no doubt I missed something. Overall, while this storyline took us all over the Wizarding World (literally), it set us up nicely for the next installment of the franchise.
Veteran Actors on their A Game
As much as I love Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, I have to hand it to Jude Law as a younger, albeit no less wise, Albus Dumbledore. Jude stole just about every scene he was in. He played a perfectly mischievous, sly ol’ Dumbledore we all know and love (RIP Richard Harris, my favorite Dumbledore). He didn’t have many scenes, but he definitely made the ones he was in count. Johnny Depp was also a pleasant surprise as Gellert Grindelwald. I feel like Depp hasn’t been on his A-game for a while now, and this character was a great comeback for him. He was creepy, but also intriguing, which is exactly what villains want you to think of them.
I normally hate writing spoiler free movie reviews, but the twists in this one (yes, there is more than one surprise) are so interesting that I’m going to leave them for you to see. Both surprises occur toward the end of the film, so make sure you don’t take a bathroom break near the end! At just over two hours and fifteen minutes, The Crimes of Grindelwald is moderately long, so plan your movie watching crew accordingly.
Is Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Ok for Kids?
Speaking of your fellow movie goers, I bet you’re wondering if this one is safe for kids. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, you be the parent and judge your kids and their tolerance for length and violence accordingly. The PG-13 rating is for “some sequences of fantasy action,” and that is the understatement of the century. My daughter and I both recommend this one for kids 7+. The very first scene involved Grindelwald busting out of prison. In fact, my Potter-loving daughter leaned over to me at one point and said, “Mom, I can’t really see what’s going on.” Everything was happening way too fast. If there is one understandable critic complaint, it’s that this installment of the Fantastic Beasts series moved much too fast and gave us a ton of information all at once.
Final Thoughts from Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review
Above all, should you go see this film? Yes. I would recommend it, but especially to Potterheads. If this is your first foray into the Wizarding World, this would not be a good place to start. The film was definitely jumping right in and continuing the story, but it was also setting us up for the future. Viewers need a frame of reference for at least 75% of the characters and/or story being told or things will get confusing very quickly.I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new movie in the Wizarding World. Leave me a comment or connect with me on social media. Go see Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald in theaters now!