Movie Review – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald enchants with its new locations and monsters. But you would also be bored by its convoluted and plodding plot.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review: 5 thumbs-up and 4 thumbs-down.
Snappy Movie Review | Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Synopsis

Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald escapes imprisonment while being transferred from the USA to Europe. Three months later, Newt Scamander unsuccessfully appeals for his travel rights to be restored, no thanks to his refusal to comply with the conditions offered to him. Later, Newt learns that Credence Barebone not only survived the events of the first movie, he was even recently sighted in Paris. Despite his reluctance to be involved again, Newt soon finds himself swept up in the massive conspiracy surrounding Grindelwald’s recruitment of young Credence. He also reconnects with childhood friend Leta Lestrange, as well as Tina Goldstein who has journeyed to Paris to locate Credence.

Snappy Review

There were many great writers throughout history. The problem though, none remotely comes near to being perfect. When we talk about favourite writers, it’s really a case of us choosing to only focus on strengths. We ignore respective shortcomings. Many times, we even blind ourselves.

To give some examples, Hemingway is respected and beloved for his signature terse style. But frequently, his characters could come across as being ostentatiously cold and removed.

Many modern readers throughout the world appreciate the surreal tales of Murakami Haruki too. Check any book review website, though, and you will discover equally as many readers detest how Murakami’s characters inevitably tend to be middle-class, middle-aged characters with too much time on their hands. One could even claim the Japanese master is but rewriting the same tale over and over again.

In the case of J K Rowling, I think her ability to enchant with words and to weave incredibly complex mythos is undeniable. Conversely, her shortcoming is that she often creates plots and worlds that are so complicated, you need some sort of Wikia companion to fully understand/enjoy her stories. So I was told, Jo herself needed a lexicon of sorts when writing the final Harry Potter books.

This situation is exceptionally obvious in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, particularly in the final third when everything is suddenly turning and twisting against every other thing just announced, while every name thrown is a reference to the original HP stories. (It’s confusing for even me to type that!)

Making it worse is how the story, bafflingly, barely moves outside of these twists. Despite the title, you hardly see any serious wickedness from Grindelwald.

Lovely as the movie is to look at, and titillating as the HP references might be for Potterheads, there’s just not a lot of excitement in this prequel. In place is instead, confusion. A storytelling version of the Reducto spell is seriously needed here.


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  1. I’m one of the people who liked The Crimes of Grindelwald. Yes, I agree that the movie needed more focus and wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was still highly enjoyable and brought the more “larger” narrative conflict into focus.

    • Emm, I agree the movie wasn’t completely boring or bad. I guess the problem for me was that the slow story strongly reminded me of Order of the Phoenix i.e. the book. To me, Jo was obviously struggling to stretch the story again. I really hope this doesn’t worsen down the road.

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