By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
is the second installment from screenwriter J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World and plays out like three movies in one.
Rowlings and director David Yates (“Harry Potter” series) have plenty of story to tell here and go to great lengths to hash it out.
Consequently, “Fantastic Beasts” becomes rather exhausting with all its moving pieces.
“Fantastic Beasts” opens with revolutionist Gellert Grindelwald (a creepy looking Johnny Depp, “Murder on the Orient Express”) breaking out of a London prison. He’s ready to wreak havoc on everything he can now that he’s fled to Paris.
Who can stop this ego-maniac?
His evil and vindictive mind believes that wizards are superior and humans inferior.
The Wizardry masters turn to Grindelwald’s old chum, Albus Dumbledore (a mild-mannered Jude Law, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”) to do the dirty work and reign in Grindelwald, but he doesn’t want any part of it. He believes Newt Scamander (Edie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”) might be up to the task.
The mission is to find Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller, “Justice League”), who is searching for his real mother in Paris. Newt’s travels have him running into his friend Tina (Katherine Waterston, “Logan Lucky”) and her sister Queenie’s fiancé, Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler, TV’s “The Walking Dead”).
Newt also joins with his former love interest Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz, TV’s “Big Little Lies”) who is now engaged to his brother Theseus (Callum Turner, “Assassin’s Creed”).
Despite all the characters and subplots, “Fantastic Beasts” just doesn’t feel as magical or inspiring as the first movie.
I’ve never really embraced the adage that you can have too much of a good thing. Yet, with “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” that sure seems to be the case.
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Watch This Trailer For "FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.