Crimes of Grindelwald Review

Warning: Spoilers on ” The Crimes of Grindelwald” ahead.


Image courtesy of IMDB.

Ben Williams, Staff Writer

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series. They are prequels to the “Harry Potter” movies and are supposed to connect to the plot of the Potter films. The first film made roughly $815 Million dollars but received mixed reviews from fans.

The Crimes of Grindelwald faced a lot of hurdles. It dives deeper into the Wizarding World than ever before, and has a few casting controversy. Despite all of this, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is still a perfect movie for Potterheads.

The biggest issue “The Crimes of Grindelwald” faces is the multitude of plot lines it has going on. During the beginning of the movie, the plot is unclear. It starts with the main characters finding each other, what Grindelwald will do, and then settles on Credence and who his family is. The plot should have been clearly defined from the start, instead of the audience having to guess what was going on.

Most of the characters in this film are well written, but not well developed. Not counting Jude Law’s Dumbeldore, Leta Lestrange was by far my favorite new character. They built her up well in the previous movie as Newt’s Hogwarts crush and was featured heavily in the ads for the movie. However, we did not get to see as much of the character as I would have liked. If she would have had about 20 more minutes of screen time I feel like the character would have been much better developed. This is a problem that every character suffers from except for Newt and Jacob, who seem to get screen time priority. While I do like their characters, I feel like the series would do better amongst fans and critics if it focused on Dumbeldore, who is arguably the best character that Rowling came up with.

The ending may be the most talked about part of this movie, with Grindelwald telling Credence he is a Dumbledore. This plot twist has confused even the most devout of Harry Potter fans. This is because the timeline just does not make sense with the timeline of Dumbeldore’s family and Credence’s age. Some fans think that he is the son of Dumbeldore’s sister Arianna, but I think this is highly unlikely because she was merely 14 years old when she died. I think that if Grindelwald is telling the truth, that he is a son of Dumbledore’s father from an affair in Azkaban.

While there are some bad aspects of the movie, I did still enjoy it. I love the Wizarding World and all the magic that comes with it. From new spells, mysterious magical items, and even more fantastic beasts, I loved this glimpse into the Wizarding World. The French ministry of magic in particular was so detail-oriented and well crafted that I was in awe.

Another thing that I really liked was all the Easter eggs that this movie had for Potterheads. In fact, most of these Easter eggs were characters themselves like Nagini who later becomes Voldemort’s snake and horcrux. Even though Nagini had very little to do in the movie, I could not help but gravitate towards the character mostly because she is such an Easter egg for fans. There is some timeline controversy surrounding Professor McGongall’s appearance, I still enjoyed the gesture towards fans. It was annoying that Nicholas Flamel came in and saved the day in the 3rd act instead of someone like Tina, but I did enjoy him as well.

This movie is a love letter to Harry Potter fans, but with all the confusing plot lines it can be hard to understand. I think that when Fantastic Beasts series comes to an end, this movie will be held in a higher light than it is now. But it will be incredibly hard for casual fans to keep up with the series considering how deep it dives into Harry Potter lore. I think as long as the next movie clears up Credence’s past, Dumbeldore’s story, and, gives more character development to each character, the series will be just fine.

I think J.K. Rowling does need help with her screenwriting. It is clear that writing books is her niche, but condensing what she writes into 2 hours is not her strong suit and leads to a sloppy plot. Even though the 2nd installment has its problems, I am eagerly looking forward to the 3rd installment and hope that it will tie up all the loose ends.