Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a film which comes directed by David Yates who some may know as the director of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and also multiple Harry Potter films. This film stars Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law. It is the second film featured inside the Harry Potter universe in the Fantastic Beasts series.
When first hearing about and seeing the initial trailers for The Crimes Of Grindelwald, I was quite excited to see the film eventually release. This time around, they’ve added Johnny Depp into the cast and he plays the film’s villain, Grindelwald. I was excited to see Johnny Depp in this because in the past he’s been so great in the many Tim Burton films he has starred in and to me he seemed like just the right type of actor to place into a supernatural film like Fantastic Beasts. In this film we also get Jude Law, who plays Dumbledore. Jude is always great to have in a film, but I was keen to see what they were going to do with a much younger Dumbledore.
The plot of this film I thought was a little different to what I was anticipating. The first film focused quite heavily on the Newt Scamander character (Eddie Redmayne) and his accomplices as they sought to take down the villain and also deal with a bunch of mythical creatures. This film does try to bring quite a bit of what we saw in the first film, with Newt completing a bunch of animal care activities. But to me, Newt and the creatures seemed to always be a bit of a sideline plot that the film, particularly in the start gets quite bogged down in. Even some of the side characters from the first film, I felt were more in this film for some consistency rather than being useful for the story and to me it was a bit of any issue. It’s not until about 45 minutes in when things start to get serious and Grindelwald and Dumbledore start doing more that things get much better. The middle part of the film and towards the end of it I felt was very strong. We get to see Dumbledore, we see Hogwarts and we get a fantastic performance from Johnny Depp as Grindewald.
Now I don’t want to spoil things at all and I don’t want to seem too negative because Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is certainly a film worth seeing. I felt that it did quite a bit to expand to the lore of the Harry Potter universe and I’m very interested in both Grindelwald’s and Dumbledore’s stories. But this factor does bring a little bit of an issue with it, I have the question in my mind as to whether I am interested in Newt’s stories? I’d say a little less, I don’t really want to watch someone catch monsters all that much for 5 films. What I think was missing and I think because the story in the start of this film was bogged down in maintaining the side characters of the first film and all the monster elements, that there was quite a bit missed to do something interesting to develop Newt’s character. He was basically just more of the same the second time around. But since there’s going to be 5 of these film, maybe they can do more next time I hope.
Eddie Redmayne was quite good in this film and I like him in this role, he does a great job with Newt. I think maybe though that, Johnny Depp and Jude Law had more interesting characters to follow and their performances really did stand out as the better ones in the film. I would have liked more screen time for Jude Law though, he gets a lot in this, but we could have had more. Johnny Depp on the other hand, got I think just right amount of screen time and made a stronger impact than I thought in this film. I do hope they keep him coming back.
The CGI and the special effects in this are quite good. There’s some of the best looking effects in this film of all Harry Potter universe films. There’s a lot of work that goes into animating all the monsters that Newt has to catch and there’s nice effects on all of those. David Yates has worked on so many films in this universe now that he seems to know how to get the look of things just right. I always like coming back to this universe every few years and seeing what is going on with it and there’s a lot of work that goes into making the visuals look just right and I admire it.
Overall this is a great film to go and see at the cinema if you love the Harry Potter universe. I love films that do a lot to expand the lore of the world’s and franchises that I like to watch and I’m a big fan of this franchise. The film does take a bit to get going in the beginning and I felt it was bogged down in a bunch of unnecessary ways, but from the middle and towards the end things start to get quite good. Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Eddie Redmayne were all great in this, but I particularly thought that Johnny Depp did exceptionally well.