Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

fantastic beasts the crimes of grindelwald poster 2018 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Gets good at the end, decent cast and visuals

Takes too long to get going, story just feels thin

Movie Info

Movie Name: Fantastic Beasts:  The Crimes of Grindelwald

Studio: Heyday Films

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  November 8, 2018 (Premiere)/November 16, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

fantastic beasts the crimes of grindelwald johnny depp escape

Grindelwald!!! Remind me why I care about this character?

Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has escaped prison and is on the loose.  Headed to Paris, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) finds himself pulled into searching for Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) by his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) but secretly for Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).  With bounty hunters after Credence and Grindelwald searching for him as well, Newt finds himself teamed with Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) in a race against time to locate Credence…but Grindelwald’s reach is far and wide.

Directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts:  The Crimes of Grindewald is a fantasy adventure film from the Harry Potter universe.  Following Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016, the film was released to mixed reviews and the lowest grossing film in the Harry Potter series.

I saw all the Harry Potter movies in the theater…up until this entry of Fantastic Beasts.  The first Fantastic Beasts didn’t wow me and I never made it to this film.  Unfortunately, my suspicions about the film were correct, and Fantastic Beasts was kind of a bust.  A *****spoiler alert***** exists for the rest of the review.

fantastic beasts the crimes of grindelwald zouwu dragon newt eddie redmayne

I guess keeping magic low key is out the window at this point

Like Harry Potter movies, the film was too long.  Most of the film felt like filler and unlike Harry Potter’s charming characters, I don’t have much of a feeling for Newt and his crew who feel unnaturally tied to the sequel (unlike the constructs of the Harry Potter series which brings the characters together through the school).  The film meanders along and finally goes to a satisfying conclusion…it just doesn’t feel like it was necessarily worth the chase.

Eddie Redmayne is good as Newt but Katherine Waterston isn’t used enough in the film to develop her character.  I like Callum Turner as Newt’s brother, and Zoë Kravitz and her character’s story is also compelling (and one of the more interesting characters).  Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol feel crammed into the story and are more annoying than helpful, and Ezra Miller also is overshadowed.  Despite Johnny Depp being the title character, it feels like his villainy will never surpass someone like Voldemort so why bother.  Jude Law makes an obvious Dumbledore and the origins of Voldemort’s snake are explained through Claudia Kim’s Nagini (making her a tragic character).

fantastic beasts the crimes of grindelwald zoe kravits leta lestrange death

Alas poor Leta, we barely knew you…

The best parts of the movie are the creatures and the nods to the Harry Potter series.  The movie goes back to Hogwarts and you get to see a few characters in their “younger” versions.  The movie continues to have fun with its creature creations, but when you have no limits, you should be able to create and wow…it just needs a better script to go with the visuals.

This movie is a bad sign for the future of the storyline.  The film underperformed and even big fans of Harry Potter seem unimpressed.  I can’t say that I’m particularly excited about the next entry in the series though they have set-up some future big moments involving Credence’s past, but there is a good chance that I won’t see it in the theater.  Harry Potter once wowed, and now it just seems to be there…no glamour and little fun.

Related Links:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1 (2010)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2 (2011)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response