Note: This is a spoiler-free Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald review
Hide your shiny objects and grab your wands! The Fantastic Beasts franchise is back.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald is another joyride from the Potter universe, packed with beasts, nostalgia, and original storylines.
My first guess is if you’ve come across this article, you know already know I’m gonna recommend it. If not, just take a quick look at the title again. So rather than make this an “if you should watch” article, let’s make it a “why you should watch” article. I’ve got five reasons for you below.
There are no two ways about it. The best part about Fantastic Beasts for a Potter nerd like myself is the trip back to Hogwarts. It might as well be early April with how many Easter Eggs you’ll find in The Crimes of Grindelwald. Hogwarts is the big, gaudy one and you’ll have no problem finding it. It’s also well-known that Jude Law makes his debut in the wizarding world as a young Dumbledore.
I also counted AT LEAST five additional callbacks to the original Harry Potter series, and I’ve only seen Fantastic Beasts once (so far). I’m no spoiler so I won’t give them away, but it is a lot of fun to be on the lookout at every scene. The movie theater will applaud once the music starts and you fly back into Hogwarts, and rightfully so. It’s a bit of a “chills” moment. Well done once again by wizarding world expert director David Yates.
The Niffler Is Back!
That’s right baby! The most fantastic of all the beasts is back and stealing everything shiny in sight. He even makes an early appearance to loosen up the crowd (successfully I might add). Niffler is again the star and continues to be my favorite character of the entire franchise, but he’s also joined by some awesome new friends in The Crimes of Grindelwald.
If not for the niffler the star beast of the film would be the Zouwu. This giant, lion-like flying creature is a magnificent creation from J.K. Rowling. The Zouwu finds a way to be fierce, cute, funny, and visually stunning all at the same time. It also plays an important role throughout the film.
And he may be small in stature, but Newt’s Bowtruckle, Pickett, is to never be underestimated. He makes another appearance, gets Scamander and company out of trouble once again, and always seems to be a crowd favorite.
One of the best things about nearly every film in the wizarding world is their ability to mix lighthearted and dark into the same movie. The original Fantastic Beasts film did it, and The Crimes of Grindelwald is no different. The lighthearted scenes outshine the dark scenes this time around.
Some of the beasts certainly contribute to the funny. But as far as actors are concerned, Dan Fogler again leads the parade as Jacob Kowalski. He’s delightful as a no-maj living in a world of wizards, witches, and beasts. It just feels like Jacob has the exact perplexed reactions I would while I’m watching confundus charms and having conversations with 375-year-old men. It makes for great entertainment.
Newt’s pursuit of his love interest, Tina Goldstein, is also sure to make you laugh. Scamander is shy, inexperienced, and downright awkward at times — and it makes for a good back and forth. Eddie Redmayne is again wonderful at bringing this character to life, being sympathetic in moments and a strong leader in others. Hard to think of a better Newt Scamander.
I guess this could speak to the entire movie since it takes place in a magical world. But the new magical elements with every wizarding world movie never cease to amaze.
New abilities of the niffler in a town square. A brand new ministry of magic to experience. All of that and more is on display in The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The culmination of magic comes in the final battle scene of the movie. It has special effects and CGI out the wazoo (as if the whole movie doesn’t — this display is just the biggest). It’s always impressive, the way these films immerse you in a world that is entirely imaginative. The effects are only getting better as time moves on.
I’m not a spoiler, as I mentioned before, so I’m not totally sure how to approach this one. But it must be said that a lot of fun, unexpected things happened in this movie.
For one, it turns out we get a Harry Potter universe origin story in The Crimes of Grindelwald. There are also a few faces that turn up at Hogwarts I didn’t anticipate seeing. And the biggest surprise is the very last scene of the movie. It comes out of left field for me, and I got a few chills watching it.
All of these things may be known for the book-reading community, which I’m not part of. As a movie-watching fanatic, these elements only made me enjoy the film even more.
Should I see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald?
Wasn’t this entire article about the reasons why you should watch the movie?
I will say this — I had trouble following some of the backstory and origins of the characters as they were being explained. It goes by pretty quick and left me feeling like I missed something. If you have that same criticism I would consider it fair. For someone like me, though, that’s just a reason to go see the movie again. And the five things listed far outweigh that one criticism in my mind.
It’s gonna be the number one movie in the world. It’s a thoroughly entertaining 2+ hours. Go see it and find out why.
(Featured Image via EW)