Keeping the magic alive, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald takes viewers back into the wizarding world once again.
Those who aren’t familiar with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series can still get a dose of magical fantasy, since Fantastic Beasts doesn’t rely on the original plot from Harry Potter. But, those people will miss out on a few details that happen to explain some parts from the original series. Fantastic Beasts takes its name from a textbook used by students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which teaches students about mystical creatures in the magic world.
The main character from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, and The Crimes of Grindelwald is Newt Scamander, a socially awkward magizoologist wizard who takes great care of all of his magical beasts. The first film takes him on an adventure to New York, 65 years before the first Harry Potter film, where he encounters all sorts of trouble, but makes a team of friends on the way. There, he is accused of working with infamous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who is eventually locked away for his crimes.
Fast forward to The Crimes of Grindelwald (spoiler), and the movie follows the wizard’s escape and subsequent gains in popularity among the wizarding community.
The first movie was a wild adventure, drawing people into the wizarding world and wowing them with magical fantasy. The movies both live up to Rowling’s awe-inspiring imagination, combining the whacky with the wicked.
The Crimes of Grindelwald introduces a slew of new characters into the storyline, making it difficult to follow and grow attached. We do get to see younger versions of Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall, which is fun. In a flashback, a younger version of Scamander is played by a young boy, who nails the role with all of Scamander’s sheepish Hufflepuff expressions and awkwardness.
There are so many things going on at the same time, it could be easy to miss some connections to the original Harry Potter story.
As a huge fan of foreshadowing, it was nice to see how some important pieces were linked together. The movie keeps you guessing and trying to solve the puzzle for yourself.
I will give Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald eight out of 10 popcorns. It only loses points because of some difficult to follow parts, and a lack of bonding between the viewer and the newer characters.