Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Movie Information
Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Interest Level: Young Adult
Main Performers: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler
Director: David Yates
Producer: J.K. Rowling
Studio: Warner Bros.
Year: 2018
Run Time: 134 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Under Albus Dumbledore’s instructions, Newt Scamander heads to Paris to protect Credence. Jacob goes with Newt after being abandoned in London by Queenie when he refused to marry her. In Paris, Credence searches for his birth mother, Tina and Newt search for Credence, Queenie searches for Tina, and Jacob searches for Queenie. All leads end at the cemetery, where the evil wizard Grindelwald rallies his followers. Tina and Newt protect Credence, and Jacob finds Queenie at the rally. Grindelwald speaks, insisting the non-magical community is dangerous and must be kept in check. Aurors arrive and battle. Credence and Queenie join Grindelwald. Grindelwald releases a fire spell to destroy Paris, but is thwarted. Newt takes a vial of blood stolen from Grindelwald to Albus, which turns out to be part of a magical non-aggression pact. Albus believes that he can break the spell. Grindelwald reveals to Credence that Credence is Albus’s brother, and that only he can destroy Albus.

The graphic design for the various magical creatures, the cinematography, and the acting are all fantastic. However, the setup and writing feel rushed and unpolished. The movie is fast-paced with multiple consecutive plots, making the story difficult to follow. No satisfying explanations are provided for the reappearance of Credence and Jacob in this sequel: in the first film, Credence is literally blown up, and Jacob has his memory wiped. Questions regarding the reversals of these seemingly permanent events are unanswered. The characters are also inconsistent: Queenie, previously a ditzy but kind-hearted witch, not only casts a manipulative love spell on Jacob but leaves for the dark side because she wants to marry him. Additionally, the writers in their efforts to make Grindelwald both appealing and unsympathetic only succeed in creating an erratic, unsatisfying character. Many fans will face disappointment with this recent installment of the wizarding world.

*Contains mild language, mild sexual content, and moderate violence.