In the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, magizoologist Newt Scamander joins forces with wizard Albus Dumbledore to battle the devious Gellert Grindelwald in 1920s Paris.
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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldInstrueret afDavid Yates
This befuddling parade of Potterishness, including a nostalgic excursion to Hogwarts, is powered by a corresponding excess of plot. The narrative mechanics are frequently bewildering, and ultimately exasperating.
The film presents us with scene after scene of narrative throat-clearing, dithering meetings and exchanges in which we are repeatedly given information on the importance of stopping Grindelwald, and warned of the ghastly evil of his intentions.
The film’s principal drawback is its narrative: largely nonsensical and bloated with new characters, subplots, and postscripts to the source material about which the viewer is given little reason to care.
Clear parallels to rise of fascism & a call to action are relevant & necessary, but too many subplots & supporting characters mean actors have no room to develop. If the first film felt like a complete work with its own story & intentions this feels like a long set-up to a third installment. Grindelwald's address to the public assembly (with apocalyptic premonition of 20th century atrocity) is striking cinema though.
While visually succulent this latest entry gets lost in its own mythology and really just winds up being the middle of a story without resolution or even a crescendo of drama or high conflict. Much of the cast is relegated to such tiny roles that they barely register save lead Redmayne and a well cast Zoe Kravitz. Never boring exactly but not incredibly stirring either.
The Fantastic Beasts saga continues to show me things I've never seen in a film, and it features the best visual effects out there. It uses them not only for spectacle, but also for humor and whimsy, and does so in a very old-Hollywood way. That's why it's so disappointing that this installment feels so incomplete.
The plot is unnecessarily convoluted, the characters aren't fully realized, and the pace drags.
I'd actually give it a 3.5 but i can't do that here. Honestly while i definitely admit that this movie has problems, and that sadly it might be the worst movie in the Harry Potter universe so far i honestly liked it. Quite a few things could've been done better but i feel like the sequels might fix that (though it shouldn't be a problem in the first place). I really think this movie is not as bad as so many say it is
I think it just has a good cast, so it's enjoyable, but I can't stand franchise movies like this that aren't self-contained. It never gets anywhere with the little bits of interesting plot and character that it makes available. Corporate filmmaking at maybe its most okay.
To be perfectly frank, while I loved the cast and the way the story unfolded, I literally found myself bored for a good two-thirds of the film. Johnny Depp and Redmayne were great and the visual effects, spectacular, but I unfortunately feel obligated to say that J.K. Rowling needs to learn to edit as her script was FAR too lengthy, or Yates' film basis was far off-base. Just ehh for me, but a decent sequel.