*Major Harry Potter Spoilers Below…
Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards and witches. They soon encounter an array of old and new beasts as they clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers.
“Things that seem unimaginable today will seem inevitable tomorrow.”
Juicers, are we in the trust tree? Because If so I need to admit that I was really rooting for this Fantastic Beasts franchise. I am a Harry Potter fanatic and just wanted this to do well, and now that we have three movies it seems like this just is not going to be what we thought it could be. It has great actors like Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston (We will get to her), and of course the newly added Mads Mikkelsen. The sum though of the series just does not seem to be living up to its parts.
This new installment really starts the war against Grindelwald (now Mikkelsen after the Depp Controversy) and we have Dumbledore doing everything he can to break his blood pact and join the fight. Meanwhile, he has Newt set up a task force basically to take down Grindelwald before he can get too powerful. The problem is that the entire plot hinges on a MacGuffin in the form of a magical Deer basically, which has a purpose that does not get revealed until three quarters of the way through the movie. I think they felt the twist would hit harder, but I just not think this is the way the beasts in this series should be utilized. The first movie took us into the briefcase and the world of all the magical creatures. This movie has taken us so far from that starting point that it almost feels like a different story. Especially when they start trying to merge the stories by bringing in Albus’ brother Aberforth and other characters you may know.
As far as the technical aspects, the score is basically what you would get from a Harry Potter movie. Which, I will not complain about because I love that music and that vibe. The cinematography looked good and I actually thought the magic looked better than the previous two movies. It finally felt like they figured out practical ways to use the magic, which has been hit or miss throughout the entire Potterverse.
Stock Neutral – Eddie Redmayne
He is actually good in the role as Newt, but he just looks bored doing the lines. He has all the awkwardness down but I just think he can be so much more than this. I really hop he gets the career back on track soon.
Stock Down – Katherine Waterston
Why is she not in this movie, please someone explain this to me?
Stock Neutral – Jude Law
He is really good as Dumbledore, probably the best part of these movies. I just do not think this is moving the needle for him career wise like he thought it might.
Stock Down – Ezra Miller
Warner Bros. has a serious Ezra Miller problem, and not just because his character just does not work at all in these movies.
Stock Neutral – Mads Mikkelsen
I obviously love him as an actor and am happy to have him in this series. But, you cannot tell me his Grindelwald has any resemblance to Depp’s version.
*A couple other tidbits
- The Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Storyline was the heart of the first movie and is completely dull now.
- Callum Turner as Thesius just is given zero personality at all.
- We need more fun things in the magical world, that is what made the Potter movies so special.
- If the whole conflict is involving these two men being past lovers, than we probably need more than one scene addressing it.
This franchise is at a serious crossroads. They need to finish this but they have to decide what they want to gain out of this story. Otherwise the future movies will continue to feel jumbled and uneven as the first few entries of the series have.
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