Kid’s take on movies: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a serviceable entry in the Harry Potter universe despite its many shortcomings. Fantastic performances and visuals complete some truly great and pivotal plot developments. Any Harry Potter fan might want to check this out, but go with lowered expectations.
The story follows the breakout of influential dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) as he seeks to enlist his army of purebloods. He starts by manipulating the transformation of Credence (Ezra Miller). All sides are divided by this, as many find that killing both will fix the issue and others believe Grindelwald upholds what is right. And then there’s the moral Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who believes in stopping both but not killing.
As a result, a younger Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists him to work behind the lines as dangerous times approach that will test the loyalties and love of all involved.
Eddie Redmayne, as Newt Scamander, is always entertaining with his quirky remarks and unswayable morals. Also, he attempts to reunite with Tina (Katherine Waterston) to humanize his central struggle to find company.
Depp, as Grindelwald, empowers with his powerful voice and fear-inducing actions. His presence holds well even among the likes of Voldemort.
Law, as Albus Dumbledore, is my favorite character, with a spot-on re-creation of a younger Dumbledore even if he’s not in it for long. His wise remarks and enthralling character developments only left me wanting more.
Zoe Kravitz, as Leta, is one of the most interesting characters; she leaves us craving more regarding the mysteries of the lore.
Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Miller return better than ever with twists and turns further developing their characters, even if a little too much time is spent on their side of the story.
David Yates expertly directs with an eye of awe for each of the magical settings visited. It is always a delight to see the early happenings of events and monuments such as Hogwarts. However, my favorite scene comes from the opening escape, which rips and roars with wondrous sound design and sets the precedent for a truly epic villain in Grindelwald. Despite this, the movie falls flat, resulting in some boring sections of exposition with forced moments of fan service. The movie feels considerably crowded and in need of a more compelling story in some sections.
The message of the movie is to never lose your morals despite what could benefit you. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of some intense action and themes.