I went to an advanced screening of Fantastic Beasts!
I want to start off by saying I am a diehard Wizarding World fan. I was one of those people waiting anxiously for new material. I have watched the first Fantastic Beasts repeatedly. The teaser into the world of Grindelwald at the end of the first film was painfully short and I wanted more. To my delight, my favorite local theater put on a fan event to show the film two days early, and I got some of the last tickets available. I arrived in my witch’s hat and Hufflepuff garb, as did quite a bit of the 200 or so other movie-goers in the theater. The Hufflepuffs were out in droves! Fun fact: Newt Scamander is a Hufflepuff, Hufflepuffs for LIFE!
Moving on…Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place 6 months after the first film ends, and immediately starts off with a twist. A lot of this film is pure story with only a pinch of action. Unfortunately, that makes it seem as if the film goes too quickly through some of the events, and not quick enough through others. There should have been more to tell regarding certain characters, but they do try to sum most of them up (I would imagine this is to avoid having a ridiculous run-time). This series is supposed to have 5 films total, so hopefully we will get more in later films.
Young Dumbledore makes his debut and we get to see the relationships he forged pre-Harry Potter. It is fascinating to see how he and Grindelwald are connected and why he must enlist Newt to help defeat him. There are many new characters that you may have heard of from the original books/movies and some you haven’t. So many people play a part in this world I can’t wait to see how they continue to grow through the series.
We also get to meet a handful of new creatures, beautiful and exotic, and occasionally hysterical, with not enough screen time. Only two of the originals make it into the meat of the film, the Niffler and the Bowtruckle. These guys tend to turn the tides throughout the film, so while their roles are small, they are important.
As a fan of this world, I did enjoy Crimes of Grindelwald. It is beautiful and the action that you do see will give you goosebumps. It is not my favorite of all the Wizarding World films, as it seems to take a huge leap into darkness. I understand Grindelwald is a huge villain for this franchise, but they seem to have left behind the charm and fun Newt brought with the first one. Don’t get me wrong, I will see this one again and again, but I hope for more in the future films.
Wizarding World fans should absolutely check this out in the theater. The beauty of the film is wonderful to see on a massive screen. If you are not, wait for it to come out on cable.
by Marisa Winterbottom, Uncanny Nerd