The time has come when everyone has to pick a side… I’ve been waiting 2 years for this movie. It has been my most anticipated piece of entertainment in a long time. And in many ways COG did not disappoint. In others though…
This review will have 2 parts. The first part will be SPOILER FREE so you can read it even if you haven’t seen the movie. The second part will go into SPOILERS, but I will clearly announce when that happens so no worries.
As I mentioned above, COG has a lot of highlights. There are some scenes in there that are so damn perfect that my Potterhead heart jumped. The cinematography is way above what we have seen in the first part. The score is beautiful and it borrows some from the original Harry Potter series, especially in the parts where we see Hogwarts. And yes, we see Hogwarts and it gave me chills. Easily the second best part of the movie after the beginning.
Concerning the characters, we have a lot of them. And this is where things got a little messy. The movie is just a bit over 2 hours long and there are so many characters, especially new ones, that there isn’t nearly enough time to explore them all. So some of them inevitably get the stick. A bit sad since there were some parts of the film that could have easily been cut to make room for more character development.
My second pet peeve with the movie is how it is edited. While the characters might be entirely on J.K. Rowling, the editing is David Yates’s (the director) fault. A movie usually has a 3 part structure. But that is forgotten here. The beginning is amazing, the ending is shocking and the middle is all over the place. And that is all on editing.
But overall I enjoyed the hell out of it. There was much fan service and as a fan I appreciated it. You can see that I keep repeating the word ‘fan’. And that is because for anyone who hasn’t at least seen the Potter movies this one will be hard to follow. It is the kind of flick that requires quite a bit of prior knowledge. So make sure you at least watch the first Fantastic Beasts if you want to go see it. Which you should!
Now we go into spoiler territory so be warned.
As I mentioned above, there is a lot to be liked here. The opening scene, where Grindelwald escapes MACUSA custody is simply fantastic.
The Hogwarts scenes are just as magical and we finally see why Dumbledore teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts. McGonagall shows up too and she is amazing. I know JK kind of broke the canon rule here, but it was minor enough not to bother me.
Talking about characters, my favorite was Leta Lestrange, That is strange haha. She stole every single scene she was in. Her story is heartbreaking and she has some of the best lines in the entire movie. The mystery of her familial relation with Credence though was something the movie did not need. It was way too complicated basically did not amount to anything.
Talking about Credence, he shows up accompanied by Nagini (yaaaaaay… or not). Credence is ok. We still only see bits and pieces of him but he is a very interesting character. Nagini on the other hand is total bait. I expect she will be more involved in future movies, but here… man oh man, her romance with Credence is not only useless (because in the end he leaves her just like that), but it is also a burden on a movie where we already have 3 other couples!!!
Another one of those couples is Jacob and Queenie who have by far the most endearing romance with the most awful ending (can’t say I’m surprised Queenie joined Grindelwald). Gosh, that was ugly. I am really curious to see what’s next here.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald… I know some people might be shocked they weren’t my favorite characters but Leta is there, sorry. That being said, they are both excellent. Anyone having reservations about Johnny Depp should be at ease. He is stunning as Grindelwald. Actually more menacing that Voldemort… and more powerful from the short bits we see in this movie.
Now, regarding the romance with Dumbledore: it is there and it will surely be explored more in the future. I doubt anyone can say Rowling is just baiting with that one.
The ending… oh, that ending. So Credence is a Dumbledore… we still don’t know how they are related but I suspect he is Ariana’s son. That is the only way all of this makes sense. But man, it was a bomb. Everyone in the room just froze. It was beautiful.
And yeah, this is my review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts down below.