Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindlewald (2018)

The next installment of the Fantastic Beasts series of films takes us away from the Fantastic Beasts and focuses more on one human and the destruction he is probably going to cause in the future films.

With Newt, Tina, Jacob and Queenie all returning as well as a young Dumbledore, The Crimes of Grindlewald promises so much.

I don’t think it is a secret at all that I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter universe in general. Some of my most viewed posts on this site are ones where I moan about Dumbledore or how Slytherin get a hard time, my favourite pass time is going on Reddit to talk about Harry Potter and while that series of books has long since ended and the story of Harry has been completed, like most fans I love that JK Rowling continues to grow the universe and give us things to look forward too.

So maybe drunk on the fact that there was another little piece of that universe to consume I went to see Crimes of Grindlewald and left the cinema excited and fulfilled.

Then I talked to Fiona, then I had to write this and as much as I hate to admit that she was right….

I didn’t like it as much as I thought I had.

Fiona. You were right.

I liked Fantastic Beasts because it felt like a new chapter in a universe I didn’t want to give up, I liked Crimes of Grindlewald when watching it because it felt like I was going to have blanks filled in and then they transported me to a place I’d walked through a million times when reading the books and never thought I’d see again. I hated it because when I got home I realised it was cheap, full of plot holes and with little to no substance in it.

OK so the beasts we did see were fantastical, the acting was brilliant and some of the story was great.

When you look deeper than the special effects and past some of the brilliant acting you had a story that made little sense, re-writing of a history that a lot of fans have learnt back to front over the years and not much more. Some fans found it insulting to their intelligence, and whilst you might think it is a over reaction at the end of the day most of these people found Harry Potter at rough times in their lives and love the series because of what it did for them and I can see where they are coming from.

Plus anything on this planet that makes me admit that Fiona was right just makes me angry. She was right, I ignored plot holes because I was swept away in the moment but they are big enough to build Hogwarts in and have space left over for 20 more.

That isn’t to say I’m personally giving up on the series. I’m not. I’m past caring what Rowling does, I didn’t like Cursed Child and find a lot of her extended writing on the series has been silly as hell but it is her universe to do what she wants to with.

If anything I’m intrigued with the Jacob/Queenie story line and that is what will keep me going back. I loved the pairing in the first movie and I love that something that chilled me about the rise of Hitler and most dictators in history is being made so real in this story. Grindlewald is a cult of personality, a less annoying one then CM Punk, and he preys on the weakness of those that are vulnerable and Queenie is one of the most vulnerable characters. Her frantic and unthinking attempts to grab something that she can’t have with the man that she loves was heartbreaking to watch and their last scene together made me cry. Alison Sudol is honestly one of the best parts of both movies and her character is really the high point of the entire film. Her interactions with Grindlewald that let us see his Silver tongue, let us see how these people are able to get into the minds of others, let us see how he can talk a woman upset that she can’t marry a Muggle into joining him when he’s anti-Muggle and see’s them beneath him are just absolutely breath taking. She’s a character that you truly feel sorry for.

On paper it sounds stupid but in reality that is what happens all the time.

It is what happens to break friendships up, it breaks relationships and families up and it is how people like Hitler are able to build armies that turn on their nearest and dearest and turn neighbour against neighbour.

That is seriously scary.

I think Sudol and Dan Fogler did a great job of showing how heartbreaking their story really is as well as showing the pain of what Grindlewald is doing to innocent, vulnerable and broken people. Their story is the one I now want to see, not the wet romance of Newt and Tina which was horribly shoe horned into this one more as a way to introduce Leta Lestrange and Theseus Scamander than to actually grow the relationship between the two, I don’t even really care for Credence much more other than to find out where he fits into everything and whether Grindlewald is lying or not. I know how Grindlewald’s story ends, I know how Dumbledore’s does and whilst I’m interested to see how they get to certain points I’m afraid by the end of it we’ll have to have Rowling re-write Harry Potter to fill in the new time lines.

I never needed to see the human form of Voldemort’s snake, not everything has to be connected but apparently it does need to be. Nagini would have been perfectly fine as just a bloody snake but now we’ll probably get a heartbreaking story to explain to us why Nagini would, as a snake, do what Voldemort wanted her to do but I don’t care.

Over all it was a spectacle. It took my breath away and left me in a foggy sense of happiness. For that it was worth going to see.

There will be many MANY more opinion pieces from me in the coming months about what I didn’t like about the film and maybe that in itself, for me at least, is worth it too.

It was just a bit of fluff that had no meaning to it.

2 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindlewald (2018)”

  1. The more reviews I read of this the less I want to see it. I didn’t mind the first Fantastic Beasts movie, it wasn’t great but not bad, but I liked that despite being a connected universe the story was more or less its own. I think building too many links is just unnecessary and creating needless opportunities to punch holes in the original narrative.

    1. You see whilst the review is negative I still like the film. I think the problem right now is that Fantastic Beasts was a nice one off movie that then was meant to be movie 1 of a 3 part series that turned into a 5 part series. As a one off story FB works but now they have a whole load of stuff they need to put into place before film 3-5 can tell the story that Rowling NOW wants to tell. As a movie it is fun to watch, you do need to disengage your brain if you know much about the backgrounds of characters and stuff or spend your life trying to tell yourself it all fits, but if you can get over that and the fact that it is more about moving the pieces into place then telling a story that stands on its own you’ll enjoy it.

      I think, unfortunately, the films will live and die by how they pan out as a series.

      Harry Potter worked as a book series that Rowling had time to think about and could then mess around with when they went to film. FB is a film series that she seems to have decided off the top of her head at some point after or during writing FB is going to be something bigger then what it probably should have been and by doing so realises she can give fans new adventures with old friends but poorly executed it in this film. As a piece in a 5 part series it might be looked back as a OK/decent film but with at least 2 years roughly to wait for a third part with, hopefully, a more coherent story if you care about the universe at large or didn’t get caught up in the cinematic moments or individual moments (for me Jacob/Queenie is enough as is a bunch of the Grindlewald stuff) then it’ll leave a sour taste. If you can look past plot holes and the fact it is actually really thin on story and just look at it for what it is then I think it is worth seeing.

      If you aren’t too bothered I’d say wait until the next film comes out, if it gets better reviews THEN pick it up on cheap and watch it before seeing the next film. It is a weird thing to say about a movie but it really feels like a intro to the next couple films. I wouldn’t NOT recommend it but at the same time 2 years goes pretty fast and if the next film is good you’ll need to see this one before that one (possibly) but it isn’t something worthy of people getting excited about which is sad.

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