Movie Review – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

 

Movie Review - Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldI don’t know what happened with this movie. It looked great from the trailers, and seemed like the story would make sense. The film itself, though, was a big beautiful mess. I’m not even sure what I saw.

I’m essentially a Harry Potter expert. I’ve read the books dozens of times, seen the movies even more, visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and traveled to places filmed on location in both London and Scotland. I belong to a Harry Potter Meetup group, and have different wizard outfits, cobbled together over the years. I’ve made wands. Blah blah blah. All this to make it clear when I say I don’t understand Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s a painful feeling.

It’s not even just me. I went with a fellow wizard friend, and he was disappointed and lost too. After the film, we tried to figure out what the movie was about, why the characters did the things they did, and were both just puzzled.

I saw the movie in IMAX at a select early screening with reserved tickets in a packed theater. Everyone there was a big HP fan, ready to have an exciting time. The audience started out applauding and cheering when different things occurred onscreen, like seeing Dumbledore, during the Hogwarts scene, when different creatures showed up, and when certain early secrets were revealed. However, as the movie wore on, the audience got more and more quiet. By the end, you could hear a pin drop. There was no final applause, which spoke volumes in its silence. People filed out with no fanfare or excitement. Basically, JK Rowling’s biggest fanbase seemed alienated.

I’ll probably see this a few more times in the theater — and it really is a pretty piece of work. I hope to figure out what the plot was about and why the characters did the things they did. I’m positive I’ll have better things to say about this film then. But in the meantime, I’ll say this: if I couldn’t follow the weird, convoluted, and very messy narrative told here, I doubt the casual fan will know what to make of it.

UPDATED OPINION: I saw this a second time and have a somewhat different review and grade for it in mind. I ‘m thinking a solid B now. My first experience was spent taking an intense amount of notes for RunPee and I missed a lot of what transpired. This is the kind of film you really can’t be distracted for. (Don’t make Peetimes kids, if you like movies!) I enjoyed my second viewing, but still stand by my original take — this sequel is problematic.

Grade: B (Updated)

About The Peetimes: I attended a premier showing before the film officially opened. (I had to drink my hoarded Felix Felicis Potion to get this ticket.) While this is great news for RunPee fans, I will admit this was the hardest movie ever for me to get Peetimes. The film moves at a breakneck pace, with too many characters — many of whom were brand new and didn’t make any sense in the film. I added 2 Peetimes, in any case. The 1st is better, at 39 minutes in. The 2nd, at 1:16 will also serve. Neither of these scenes have any interesting action or fantastic beasts.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Why Fantastic Beasts 2 is not so Fantastic

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

6 Replies to “Movie Review – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”

  1. So then I guess I should stick to muggle attire suitable to the period rather than go dressed as Professor Snape just yet (and I love that Gboard knows I’m not trying to swipe snake), as it is probably just at the end of the series we’ll see him debut, perhaps.

    1. Yeah, your choice of course. I wore a sort of grown up wizard attire, the kind of stuff you’d see people walking around Diagon Alley wearing, with a few Gryffindor accessories and a Deathly Hallows necklace. And my wand. #WandsUp #KeepTheSecrets

  2. I didn’t want to love this movie because of the reviews. But I couldnt help myself. I love the Wizard World. My score is a “B+”. The 1st Fantastic Beasts movie could almost be a stand alone. In that movie, there were tiny nuggets of history for Potter Fans, but in The Crimes of Grindelwald movie there are so many nuggets you’d need a niffler to pick them all up. The new minor characters aren’t loved because we haven’t had years of re-reading the books to get to know them. I lost track of who was who. I want more time with these new characters. Please please please, JK Rowling…write the books for these movies!!!!

  3. I totally agree that the first movie is basically a stand alone, up til the last few minutes where it finally ties in the the larger story.

    I hate writing some of these reviews so quickly. I needed to see this again. I did, and have a totally different review and grade in mind. But what I’m going to do is see it a third time, maybe in 3D, and then make a new review for it. On my second viewing I knew what to expect, what to look and listen for, and most of all: WAS NOT WRITING PEETIMES. I could just sit back and allow the experience to unfold. Normally my Peetime taking doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment of the film for me, but in a case like this, it almost ruined it. I spent almost the entire time taking notes and missed a lot. A lot a lot! Anyway, I agree with your grade. When I redo this, I think a B+ at least is what I’ll go with .

    I’m glad you had a good time! If we ever ask you to make Peetimes, remember to just say no!

    And yes, any time spent in the wizarding world is worthwhile. I also found myself hoping JK would write these as novels. I have a sense she won’t, though, and we’d all expect them to be as good as the Harry Potter ones, so she might not do it just on principle.

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