6.5

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Director:
David Yates
Stars:
Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler
"Magic Dimmed: A Labyrinthine Sequel"

Posted Saturday, Nov 25, 2023 137

The film continues the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander as he becomes entangled in the sinister plans of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who seeks to rule over all non-magical beings. With an expanding cast and intricate subplots, the narrative attempts to blend spectacle with political intrigue.

Themes of freedom vs. order, the nuances of power, and the complexity of love and redemption are interwoven through a darker and more sober tone compared to its predecessor. The film explores the moral ambiguity resting at the hearts of its characters, against the backdrop of rising tensions in the wizarding world.

Eddie Redmayne returns as the endearingly awkward Scamander, while Johnny Depp instills a chilling charisma into Grindelwald. New and returning characters add depth, though the expanded roster at times outpaces the movie`s ability to give each character their due.

David Yates maintains a consistent vision for the wizarding world, though sometimes struggles to navigate the intricate web of plotlines, occasionally losing the magic that the franchise is known for.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review

James Newton Howard’s score swells with the whimsy and foreboding required for such an epic tale, though it occasionally fades into the background amidst the film`s dense storytelling.

Philippe Rousselot`s work captures an enchanting yet eerie aesthetic that matches the film`s dual nature, crafting frames that are teeming with detail and dark beauty.

Stuart Craig’s production design is meticulous, transporting viewers into the depths of the wizarding world with stunning recreations of 1920s Paris and London, alongside the fantastical elements that fans adore.

The visual effects are a dazzling showcase of creativity, bringing to life a host of magical creatures and spellbinding encounters, though at times they threaten to overshadow the narrative itself.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review

The film`s pacing is uneven, with the elaborate plot requiring a balance that is not always achieved, leading to a viewing experience that can feel both rushed and dragging in different segments.

The narrative gallops at a pace that might leave some viewers yearning for a moment of respite and clarity, yet will enchant others with its relentless energy.

While there are moments of clever and heartfelt dialogue, exposition often weighs down conversations, making some interactions more functional than enlivening.

Though the film bursts with cinematic spectacle and explores thought-provoking themes, it is hampered by a convoluted plot and a surfeit of underdeveloped characters. The whimsy that once danced through the Harry Potter series now feels like an echo, as the film struggles under the weight of its own grand ambitions.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is a spellbinding visual feast that reaches for greatness but is ensnared in its own narrative complexity. Despite this, it leaves fans with moments of genuine intrigue and enchantment, sustaining the magical connection many have with the wizarding world. As a fervent fan, one cannot help but be whisked along on this brooding adventure, all the while longing for the series to rediscover the heart and clarity of its origins.