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Review – Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes Of Grindewald

For any Harry Potter fan, old or new, the latest instalment of Fantastic Beasts will tantalise. You’ll be spellbound as you’re taken not only back to the new magical world we have come to know. But we also start to blend into the world of the Potter Universe.

It would be fair to say if you weren’t a fan of the first Fantastic Beasts you probably won’t be a fan of the latest, The Crimes of Grindelwald. Yet for anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter series and the Magical Creatures film, this will mesh both worlds making you wish they would never stop making these films.

Newt Scamander has had his travel rights taken away after the damage that was caused on his last trip to the United States. However he’s also trying to find Credence ( after word he survived and joined a circus in Paris.

But in his search he’s also been set an even bigger task of ensuring Grindelwald doesn’t get to Credence first.

Along for the journey though slightly complicated is Tina, Queenie and Jacob as they try to track both Credence and Grindelwald down. Newt happens to take on a few more magical creatures to join the group before they cause damage or worse are caught.

There is so much going on in this film that while it does tend to drag on, if you happen to stop paying attention even for a moment, you’ll be struggling to catch up. The film loses its pace as it’s filled with so much information which in turn fills up a great deal of screen time with dialogue.

However, as boring as it may get there are so many wonderful tidbits that cross over to the original Potter Universe. These nods here and there begin the meshing of the two series. And for those that are already across all that is Harry Potter, following along with the storyline will seem a piece of cake.

Some of the unanswered and lightly discussed topics from the Harry Potter series are covered in this film. Bringing the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald up for conversation once again. Though as much as they hint, there are still a great deal of questions left unsaid.

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl, Jupiter Ascending, The Theory of Everything) returns as Newt Scamander and still has the shy yet confident persona we’ve come to know him for. Alongside him is Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, The Holiday, Alfie) as Dumbledore who manages to keep that secretive yet warm and fuzzy figure the Harry Potter series built with Michael Gambon.

Zoe Kravitz, Alison Sudol, Katherine Waterson, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller and Johnny Depp also grace the screen bringing some wonderful performances as they navigate a magical world.

The sets were extravagant, the special effects were entirely believable to the point you’d think maybe some of the magical creatures were real. Not to mention the battle which was truly a visual spectacle. 

Overall, this is a magical and  wonderful experience that follows a familiar story line we’ve all come to know. But it’s done in a whimsical almost adult way. Familiar faces and familiar places make this whole experience like you’d never left the Potter universe. There is one thing for sure the next three installments are going to get even better.

Review by Jay Cook

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