Even before they could watch it, the moviegoers predicted that it would be the biggest box office hit of the year and they may prove right. Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald, the second episode of the new saga written by J.K. Rowling, was released this week. Here is our review of the follow-up of Newt Scamander’s adventures.
One year after the first movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new saga about the wizarding world continues with The Crimes of Grindelwald and, as the old saying states, if it works, don’t change it. So, David Yates, who became a master in the art of making us believe in magic, gets back behind the camera to give life to a scenario imagined by the author of Harry Potter and Eddie Redmayne steps, once more, into the shoes of Newt Scamander, the most famous magizoologist in the world. In this new film, his former Defence against the Dark Arts teacher, Dumbledore asks him to go to Paris in order to fight Grindelwald (still played by Johnny Depp), who tries to gather followers to impose the domination of the wizards on the people who have no magical powers and on all the other magical creatures.
The recipe is still the same. In the fascinating atmosphere of the magical Paris in the late 20s, the hero joins his friends Tina (Katherine Waterston), Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob (Dan Fogler), whom he met in New York, and chases Grindelwald, who is, himself, searching for the elusive Credence (Ezra Miller) in order to rally him to his cause. The spectators follow a fast-paced hunt in the Parisian undergrounds with the impressive magical fighting scenes and the strange but endearing creatures that are the landmarks of the saga. Yet, in this second movie, the magizoologist is also confronted to new characters, such as his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) or his first love Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz), that tell us more about Newt’s personality and past. Nevertheless, fans can be reassured, they are brought back to Hogwarts to meet the young Albus Dumbledore, brilliantly incarnated by Jude Law who, beyond his typically British dandy style, masters ambiguity to show us some of the numerous faces of one of the most loved but also most enigmatic characters of the series.
J.K. Rowling continues to develop what seems to be her favourite themes, such as love, friendship and family relationships but also how evil people gain power and how to fight them, and this makes the morals of her stories quite universal. Furthermore, one quickly notices that events repeat themselves – or rather repeated themselves at the time of Voldemort – and, as the plot takes place in early 20th century Europe, one might draw a certain parallel with what is happening in today’s reality, at a time when some people fear another rise of extremism that, in the past, led to war. The writer manages, once again, to create a story that, the same time, appeals to young people and that their parents may find interesting. So, Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald is the perfect film for your next family movie night.
Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald, David Yates, United Kingdom, 2018, 2h14, released in France and in Belgium on the 14th of November 2018, in Lebanon on the 15th of November 2018 and in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Canada on the 16th of November 2018.