This Should Be Dumbledore’s Movie

Crimes of Grindelwald

The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts)

Directed By: David Yates

Grade: C+

This is not to say that I don’t like Newt Scamander or think he could be a good hero. It’s simply I think the main flaw, the main problem, with this film was that the story is Albus Dumbledore (Grindelwald too) but it is being lost in the marshes of an overstuffed, over baked film.

The main cast from the first film returns and the crux of the movie is everybody wants to find Credence (that’s right he didn’t die!)

Ezra Miller in Crimes of Grindelwald

I like Ezra Miller but this stuff is full on soap opera at this point as he’s looking for his mommy. The wizarding world thinks he’s the lost son of some prophecy (of course their had to be a prophecy) and Grindelwald well I think he just wants to use him to blow shit up.

We also get a hefty dose of Leta Lestrange in this movie and Zoe Kravitz is great but also the flashbacks and the explanation of what she did and how it pertains… eye rolls.

leta lestrange

Which for me even aside from the fact that the heart of this story rests with Dumbledore (an excellent Jude Law) is the bigger problem. There’s simply too much and Yates and crew don’t just sacrifice for more characters they seem willing to waste the time that they have on effects and CGI. I hate to say it but Nagini- not necessary. Nicholas Flemel- not necessary.

Grindelwald calls his followers
You’d think there’d be an easier way to call a meeting!

A perfect example is everything that happens with Queenie and Jacob. It’s like I kind of got it but it still didn’t feel earned and there were ways it could have really if they had just been willing to put a bit more time into it. 

I also don’t like certain elements of Dumbledore’s story that seem to be unnecessarily complicating matters. And Rowling seems to be playing a bit fast and loose with established cannon concerning ages and timelines.

Alison Sudol in Crimes of Grindelwald
Oh, if only I had stayed in New York!

 I was entertained. The performances were good. I’m intrigued and building some theories. And the world still has that childish enchantment that draws you to it. Niffler was perfectly used and I did like the end.

But the script needed work. The movie needed different editing (I think they need to bring in a different director at this point.) And I can’t help wish Dumbledore’s story had been told in book format or at least differently. Also not sure how I felt about those end revelations. I think/hope he’s lying.

Recommend: Overall yes but…

You really don’t need to see it in theaters. None of the effects are that good and it mostly seems like messy set-up for part 3 in 2020 so plenty of time to catch it at home.

36 thoughts on “This Should Be Dumbledore’s Movie

  1. I agree! There’s not too much that happens in theater that can’t still be enjoyed in one’s own home. The special effects weren’t anything “special”. But it was fun to be immersed in the movie with a big screen because I miss Harry Potter. I feel the same in that it wasn’t that impressive of a sequel.

  2. I also think he is lying.

    I felt like this movie had too much going on, and then in the end it was basically a 2.5 hour red herring. Like, what was even the point? I love Newt as a protagonist, and was fully not expecting this to be Dumbledore’s movie (wait for #5, I think), but then Newt didn’t even really get enough screen time or character development either! Overall I would recommend it only to die-hard fans. Just, meh.

    1. Right? He did say he thought Credence was the only one who could kill Dumbledore- so he gave him a reason and pointed him that direction. Agree about Newt- they stuffed so much in everything suffered. Though I am still interested to see where Newt ends up. I can’t imagine anyone escaping this unscared.

      1. PLUS, if Grindewald didn’t even know Credence was the obscurial last movie, how the heck did he suddenly figure this out WHILE HE WAS IN PRISON? I don’t buy it. Like you said, he’s manipulating Credence.

      2. Yeah, good point. In fact he thought it was the little girl for a while in that one. Perhaps someone who can read minds will call him out? 😉 One can hope.

  3. Very thorough and well written review. And I tend to agree with you on most parts. The biggest thing for me was all the connections I was trying to make/remind myself. There are so many references to so many people and events from the HP series, that I really needed a recorder so I could remember what I needed to look up. I think the biggest problem I had with it, was the beginning. So many things just did not make sense and it felt like they really had to stretch to make it work because it was so far removed from how the first one ended. I dont know. I did like that it still used Hogwarts in a revealing manner. It just felt tired. Although the kid who played young Newt was really good.

    1. For a minute I thought they had used some excellent de-aging process on Eddie Redmayne. He was really good! As was young Leta I just couldn’t make the jump with the baby thing and her whole flashback it was just so odd.

      1. No I absolutely didn’t make that jump. In fact I spent a good amount of time trying to trace the family trees, but I gave up and still get lost. I don’t think 1 or 2 of them make sense.

  4. Haven’t watched the movie. But you’re right. I’d watch it at home. My biggest pet peeve is this franchise was supposed to about “fantastic beasts” and it would’ve been better if things were kept simpler including shtick regarding Dumbledore-Grindelwald.

    Now, real furry/scaly beasts have taken back-seat in the movies, unless JK is specifying that here beasts= human beings.

    1. Maybe that’s what she’s going for? But the actual beasts are so darned cute and the humans are at best complete messes I’d just give up and hand the world over to the furry beasts. Niffler can rule all 🙂

  5. Yeah, I’ve not been hearing good things about this one…which is a shame because I was initially really excited for a Dumbledore prequel! I don’t know how involved Rowling is in writing the script (I try not to follow her closely on social media), but I feel like she should kind of take a step from the HP franchise and let others take the mantle?

    1. She wrote the whole thing from what I understand definitely agree she needs to step back. I also think they need a new director. This guy has been doing these films since Order of the Phoenix. Time for new blood!

  6. I was wondering if this is a cinema or a dvd movie but now I am inclining to wait for its rental option. It’s good to know that there are strong acting performances though, bummer about the rest.

  7. I honestly didn’t find it anything special but then again, I was never into the new movies. I see no reason to suddenly want to use a school book as inspiration for a full five or six whatever movies? Like, what the hell. It’s evident they are trying to milk the franchise as much as possible.

    I almost fell asleep at the cinema and that is saying something. Nothing remotely interesting happens in the first half of it, and even then things got confusing as heck. I liked Leta and her story, though. And a couple other things. But otherwise, eh.

    I want a Marauders trilogy. Actually, just one film would be enough. THAT I would pay to see repeatedly. But Fantastic Beasts just looks lame at this point. I love the creatures but otherwise wouldn’t have bothered had my friends not wanted to see it.

    Great review!

    1. Thank you!
      I do find the whole Dumbledore/Grindlewald thing fascinating but I don’t know why they saddled it with Fantastic Beasts. I don’t think they’re doing either story justice. The Maruaders would be an interesting one apparently Warner Brothers is doing a streaming service as well so maybe they’ll do a series or something 🙂

      1. Oooh I certainly hope so! I never cared much for the whole Dumbledore/Grindlewald thing to be honest, mostly because it was never properly brought to life (not even now, as they’re keeping it too lowkey for me to be able to appreciate it). But we’ll see what happens 🙂

  8. I agree, the script definitely needed some polishing and yes, some of the characters were unnecessary (Jacob, Queenie, Tina). It felt like they added them to the mix just because they were in the first movie, so they needed to continue the story and have them, one way or another, in the second one, as well. I also agree that the “I lost my mommy” storyline is getting tiresome, but I do love Ezra Miller, so I will take it. Overall, it wasn’t a good Harry Potter movie, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Great review!

    1. Thanks! I still had leftover charm feels for Jacob and Queenie but yeah they could have at least skipped this one or been better used. Probably would have been better for them anyway 🙂

  9. Oh that’s so disappointing to hear about this being overstuffed. Shame so many of the characters weren’t necessary and Rowling was playing fast and loose with canon :/ Such a pity this needed more work- but good it was entertaining at least. I did actually have high hopes for this one- but I’m not hearing such great things. I’ll still watch it, but keep my expectations in check. Brilliant review!

  10. Great review! Sorry you didn’t like it more. Until you mentioned the effects I completely forgot that I got a really bad motion headache because some of the action scenes were moving too fast. We were in the back of the theater and it wasn’t 3D so I should not have had trouble with that! But overall I still loved it, but I am not hard to please when it comes to Harry Potter world stuff haha

    1. My theater completely messed up the opening to as well. Blurry with the 3d glasses and worse without and then they turned the lights on while it was playing so totally gave me motion sickness. I’m pretty easy to please with Harry Potter as well but if they had done what they should have and separated these stories we’d have even more Harry Potter world goodness 🙂

  11. Agreed! The Life and Times of Dumbledore needs to happen, both Rita Skeeter’s book and a film version. Dumbledore was by far the most interesting character in the HP series.

    1. Oh Rita Skeeter’s book would be so much fun! There’s a funny little bit with her and Ginny Weasley in that Quidditch book. They could have dual biographies or something!

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