Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, directed by David Yates, is the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, and tenth overall of the Wizarding World franchise. The film brought a new and exciting experience for Potter fans, both in terms of story and cinematography, while still staying true to its core. The Crimes of Grindelwald features a broad range of new characters as well as the return of familiar fan favorites. With Eddie Redmayne’s return as the awkward, beast loving wizard, Newt Scamander, the film is also headlined by Ezra Miller, Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald and Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald follows up the previous adventure with added stakes, darker themes and a deeper plot. While the first film reintroduces us to the Wizarding World without relying too heavily on Harry Potter‘s iconic characters, the second film takes us back to the world and characters we’ve all cherished. Hogwarts returns, along with a younger, less experienced Albus Dumbledore. A man who will eventually be known as the greatest wizard of all time. Almost wishing he had a some-what bigger role in the movie, Albus is shown as a layered protagonist with seeds being sown for future films. The plot of the film was stronger than the first and while not always reaching the magic of the Harry Potter franchise, still manages to be a quality entry into the universe. One of the elements of the film that was well done was the pacing. The film spent some time slowing down with subplots that would eventually shape the larger story, with an incredible cliffhanger setting up the future films. It also did well when balancing dark moments with some humour throughout the film. However the movie itself does not do the title any justice, as we see it stringing away from being a Grindelwald movie rather than anything else. Other than that the film will still manage to keep Potter fans and casual fans happy with the material.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald contains amazing visuals, with the score bringing back a sense of nostalgia for the classic Harry Potter films. A veteran in the Wizarding World, David Yates returns for his sixth straight installment in the Potterverse. While he definitely has a handle on the material and has been instrumental in shaping the world we have seen on screen, one particular wish is to see another director try his or her hand at this universe and unlock more potential. While the film is good, one can wonder how this franchise would grow with another director leading the charge. Still, Yates does a solid job taking the franchise one step forward.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a worthy entry into the Wizarding World. While not filled with the magic of the Harry Potter franchise, the film brings the sub franchise or Fantastic Beasts to another level. Darker storytelling, risks taken with the material, and an elevated goal to take the franchise forward, The Crimes of Grindelwald feels more of a setup film for the larger franchise ahead. It is here where the film does not have the same edge of Harry Potter. Harry Potter left each film feeling like its own story, its own message and its own theme. With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the film feels like a part 1 of a new story ahead. While this isn’t a bad thing, and the story holds well, this is more of a condition of franchise filmmaking as a whole between Disney, WB and other studios. To conclude, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a very strong film. The film is highlighted by very strong cast performances by Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim and more. Darker themes, stronger performances, a serious plot and higher stakes, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a step forward for the Wizarding World franchise.