Raising Oscars: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Aaron Pruett
apruett@lc.edu

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts saga and the tenth installment into the wizarding world. It stars Eddie Redmayne, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Dan Fogler, and Johnny Depp. The movie, while entertaining, consists of loose threads and a messy plot.

Johnny Depp’s performance of Grindelwald rivals Voldemort as one of the most complex and interesting villains of all time. Every scene that Grindelwald or Dumbledore is in is instantly captivating, and easily some of the most enjoyable scenes the Wizarding World has had in a while.

For longtime fans of the Harry Potter universe, this movie will come across as slightly confusing due to drastic changes that are being made to this universe’s lore, but on the opposite end of that spectrum people who aren’t heavily invested in this universe and is just a casual moviegoer will also likely be confused by a few scenes in this movie because it relies heavily on the audience understanding whom is connected and related to whom.

The movie often comes across as watching a highlight reel for a twenty-four-episode season of TV, you end up seeing some extremely cool and fun things as well as huge reveals, but the scenes don’t really feel all that tied together. Characters, new and old, seem to show up and disappear without any real arc or purpose. And by the last 60 seconds of the movie, you’ll be scratching your head asking yourself if you missed something really important in an episode this highlight reel forgot to cover.

If I were this movie’s parent, I would tell it to clean up its room, the room being a metaphor for the plot. Its toys are all out and thrown around, but it isn’t really playing with all of them, so the toys that aren’t being used need to be put away for later.   

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