Review: 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' struggles to engage

Nov 14, 2018
fantastic beasts crimes of grindelwald movie review

It should not be blamed if a sequel aspires to go for anything more ambitious than its predecessor. Audience expectations are a huge factor in all these, as an extension of the original story can be equated to an expansion of scope. ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,’ with the fan-base it generates on the “Wizarding World” established by J.K. Rowling, is at no fault pressured to do something more from the previous ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’ 

As a follow-up story, ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ seems to aspire a lot, if not, a bit too much. It was announced that this is the second installment of a planned 5-film series, and this alone is already telling with what we have here: very calm, snail-paced, and as if there’s no solidified threat to really show. The main antagonist Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escaped from an arrest, and like a menacing villain, seeks to recruit alliances from his evil group. 

fantastic beasts crimes of grindelwald movie review

He is eyeing one, Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), which he can use as a powerful weapon to rival (and former ally) Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). Clearly, there’s a lot of threads taking place, and this is not even the half of the arcs we have. As a ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie, of course, we still have the lead Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), his sibling, his friends, his “beasts,” and a lot more.

fantastic beasts crimes of grindelwald movie review
With a lot to tell, it’s very obvious director David Yates was having a hard time making the right focus on who to show and not. There’s a genuine charm on how playful this universe gets, but this was not translated enough to the structure of the story they are telling. With a two-and-a-half hour running time, everything’s still bearable. You still somehow get what you want, but not that much in entirety.

fantastic beasts crimes of grindelwald movie review

The lack of urgency due to long fillers kills these long serials. ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ fails to engage me as a whole, but there are still magical touches in between. Fan services are apparent here, but you have to realize that we come in these types of films to see something new, not anything or anyone too familiar. 

'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' is now showing in cinemas nationwide. Locally distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Philippines.

© 2018 Warner Bros. Ent.  All Rights Reserved.
Wizarding WorldTM Publishing Rights © J.K. Rowling
WIZARDING WORLD and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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