When Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escapes from prison, a world-wide manhunt begins to re-capture him. But what is he planning? And how does Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) fit in? In order to find out, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) asks Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to head to Paris.
David Yates delivers another fun instalment in J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World, and there's a hell of a lot going on! Firstly we've got some catching up to do with some returning characters, as well as meeting some new (and newish) ones. The Crimes of Grindelwald does do a good job of opening up the pre-Potter Wizarding World. Newt has some interesting new magical creatures to take care of, not to mention the creature that's had babies since the first movie. But as the title would suggest, this one is mainly about the big bad of the story.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them merely introduced the evil wizard. So this time around we're getting to know the bad guy, a little anyway. And with all the other new characters establishing themselves and their relationships with Newt and the gang, things can get a little complicated at times. All of which does leave the movie feeling like it's simply there to set up the next Fantastic Beasts movie. Luckily, the great performances from the entire cast help to keep things clear and their adventures - as well as a few fantastic beasts - provide enough laughs and intrigue that you are pretty much always captivated. Certainly enough to justify a second watch anyway.
I would like to have seen more of the magical creatures, who do take a bit of a back seat. I was very disappointed that Pickett made such a small appearance. The excitement of exploring Newt's suitcase/basement was definitely something that was missing, seeing him care for his creatures and his attempts to keep them together. However, there are some (for lack of a better term) fantastic new creatures to see, not to mention those that we've seen before. You should definitely watch out for the Zouwu, some of its scenes are a lot of fun. And there's a great moment where the Niffler is let loose, this time so that it can put its talents to some good use.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a fun and intriguing adventure. I find it odd that I enjoy these movies, considering I'm not a fan of Harry Potter. But they really are just a lot of fun, thanks mostly to the beasts. Although that's something that I did feel was a little lacking here. The Crimes of Grindelwald in many ways is similar to Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (only better). You know, something is coming, that things are only going to escalate, and that you'll no doubt be left with more questions than answers. Unlike Attack of the Clones, this movie doesn't really feel like it has an ending, in fact it's more like an ad-break halfway through the story. One that definitely leaves you wanting more.
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