Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie Review
J.K. Rowling trolls Donald Trump on Twitter, yet she trolls her fans on screen with the increasingly tepid Fantastic Beasts series, a Harry Potter spin-off that lacks magic, charisma, children, and, yes, Harry Potter. Any hope that the first Fantastic Beasts movie was an aberration is distinguished in the first minutes of its sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, a soul-crushing waste of time, energy, and potential.
The Crimes of Grindelwald, a movie in which the crimes of Grindelwlad are most certainly neither the focus nor truly explained, is a boring, aesthetically dull drabfest full of characters you don’t care about and an overly complex plot stuffed with uninteresting details.
Oddly, Johnny Depp, his controversial casting aside, is arguably the best part of the movie. In his thankfully limited screen time, he at least shows passion for his role—even if the role is just a lazy retread of Voldemort—and is slightly memorable.
The less said about the rest of the characters the better. One of the biggest issues with the two Fantastic Beasts films to date is that Rowling selected Newt Scamander as her lead protagonist. No one really wants to watch Eddie Redmayne act weird and awkward for hours on end, and yet that’s what we are stuck with, a protagonist who acts like he has a mental disability and who seems to inadvertently get himself in and out of trouble.
The rest of the cast seems even more discombobulated than in the first film, with Dan Fowler (a minor gem in Where to Find Them) showing up just because people liked him last time and other returning cast/characters barely registering. Remember how well defined and entertaining every character was in the Harry Potter movies? Those days are long gone.
The first Fantastic Beasts came off as a cash grab for Warner Bros., but at least it looked like people were trying. The Crimes of Grindelwald operates like no one gives a shit, every aspect of its production so far off the mark it’s amazing J.K. Rowling put her name on the thing, let alone wrote the damn thing (another issue: it’s clear that while Rowling is a terrific novelist, her vision is to sprawling for her to be the sole screenwriter).
As a huge Harry Potter fan, it’s clear that the Fantastic Beasts movies need to be taken out back behind the barn and Avada Kedavra’d.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.