Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald - Movie Reviewiliekpiez Ever since 'The Avengers' came out, there has been an increase in cinematic universes. One in TV with DuckTales and Darkwing Duck for example. However, in movies they do not always succeed. The Dark Universe was a notable culprit of this. The Mummy (2017) was pretty terrible. Dark and it sucked. Wonder where that cinematic universe is heading. So, Warner Bros - already with their massive hit Harry Potter have created a cinematic universe with the Wizarding World. Fantastic Beasts would be the setup for this. I just thought the first one was just a cute little first film and there would be no more of these. Unfortunately, there are 5. Don't know why, it just seems that HP ended they just want a second one to milk the franchise even further. And this movie did pretty good at the box office unfortunately so we do probably get a third one. Great. Just great.
It's also fair to say that Fantastic Beasts does not really have a place in the title. As in the movie, they serve no purpose. No purpose. So the name has become a cash cow. What was to find the Beasts, has turned into a setup for a Wizarding War apparently. And they use the characters from the first film. Might be just to appeal to the audience which is what I thought. However, someone could also argue that it was to develop the characters further and make them interesting. Seeming as the only interesting characters in the first Fantastic Beasts other than the beasts themselves. The human characters were dull.
So anyway, the story is to stop Grindelwald's (Johnny Depp) plans of pure bloods to rule over all. In an effort to stop this, Dumbledore (Jude Law) tries to get help from Newt Scamander, who agrees. However, the dangers that lie ahead are grave and people start picking sides between one another, and a rift forms. This is the biggest issue with the movie, due to the movie being a massive mess. Due to the mashing up of the subplots. Which are pretty poorly put together.
The main subplot is the one involving Newt, Jacob and Tina in the first film, trying to stop Grindelwald. Issue with this subplot is that it is not very interesting in itself. They're trying to stop Grindelwald. Could be fun and interesting, but it really isn't. The subplot is extremely forgettable and not very interesting. The moments are forgettable. The subplot does not really have anything good in it other than some Pickett scenes.
There's another subplot involving Queenie. They treat as a surprise that Queenie joins Grindelwald, I predicted it as soon as the (spoiler) argument between Jacob and Queenie actually happened. Therefore the twist is not dramatic. When the last words between Jacob and Queenie do happen. The fact that Queenie does get so much focus is a flaw of the movie itself. She's not interesting. She's bland. I don't care about her and her relationships with other characters.
There's another subplot involving Nagini and Credence and them and Grindelwald. Them having some of connection with one another. You see, I don't like these subplot either. Mostly because of Nagini and Credence having not much chemistry with one another as well. And in a twist, Credence joins Grindelwald. Not surprising at all. This subplot is boring and I don't care about any of the characters involved in it. There's a Dumbledore one too but I'm just going to the same complaints.
There's probably too much for the movie to handle in itself. The movie does not really focus on one for that long. And with so many, the plot cannot develop and actually play out successfully. This of course would therefore means that the movie is not very focused and pretty clumsy. It also means that the movie has failed to accomplish what a sequel should do. It should develop the characters, improve upon it and also maybe fix the issues. The improvement is not an improvement - the first one was better by far. Fixing the issues like improving upon the human characters and not shoving it things out of nowhere the movie does not fix. It fails at both of them with the latter especially.
So anyway, things come out of nowhere. Of course this means the editing is choppy. One of the tasks a film editor has is to put a film together successfully. The task of almost like putting jigsaw puzzles together so to speak, the movie mystically fails at. It is one of the biggest issues with the movie. The bit where the Ministry goes to visit Dumbledore is out of nowhere. The subplots almost do not how to share. Like a tug of war with different winners each time. Therefore the editing also leads to a flashback out of nowhere. A flashback can be used to an advantage in a film but the film does it out of nowhere and the flashback isn't even good. Dumbledore appears out of nowhere. The editing is so choppy. The editing is terrible. On par with 'Bohemian Rhapsody's editing. Never thought I would say that.
The 'Harry Potter' films deliver an amazing soundtrack by John Williams. This soundtrack I do not remember anything about. That's a damn shame. The soundtrack in the trailer was pretty great, but they don't really use that. They use cliché tracks which don't really add any atmosphere to the scene or moments in the film. It just uses the typical cliché soundtrack that is extremely forgettable. Leads on to my next point.
Each of previous 'Harry Potter' movies have memorable moments. In the 'Philosopher's Stone', you have the bit with Fluffy, Quidditch and Hagrid. Even though the second one sucks, the end fight was unforgettable and awesome. In 'The Prisoner of Azkaban', you have the Night Bus, The Third Act and Dementors. In the 'Goblet of Fire' you have the Triwizard Tournament and The Dark Mark in The Quidditch World Cup. In 'The Order of the Phoenix', you have Fawkes and the end sequence in the Ministry. In 'The Half-Blood Prince', you have the Dumbledore death scene. In 'The Deathly Hallows Part 1', you have Hermione erasing her parents and the Ministry break in. In Part 2, you have Snape's death scene and The Battle of Hogwarts. In the first 'Fantastic Beasts' you have the Beasts like Nifflers. They all have quite a lot. This movie only really has Newt's house. Nothing really lives up to the moments of the other films. This means the movie is forgettable. The subplots aren't memorable - all of them are forgettable and uninteresting. The opening is forgettable, something involving Thestrals I think. The movie is worth a hammer smashing anything that means with the movie on it would be much better.
As I mentioned earlier, I have an issue with the characters. The ones like Newt and Tina are not interesting. Newt is just not wanting to work in a workplace. That is his character development and it is just cliché. Newt was bland in the first film who didn't really do much that was interesting other than collecting these Beasts, The character just collects them and doesn't want anything other than to conserve these Beasts. To me that's not very interesting and extremely dull. Redmayne brings charm to the character but in his dialogue itself it's just bland and forgettable. And he's the main character as well. Tina is just Tina. Moving on. I didn't really like Dumbledore. I didn't like Law's take on the character. He lost that special Dumbledore charm that he had and he was only there too do one little thing and they just revert back to him probably to remind the audience the character exists.
The thing I wanted most from the movie was for Grindelwald to be a great villain. The one thing I really wanted. Instead, Grindelwald is pretty abysmal as a villain. Not only has Johnny Depp gone down the toilet with one of his worst performances. And Depp's had a lot of bad ones. The character's motivation is to make pure bloods rule the world and exterminate all other races. Yes. The character is not unique and has a carbon copy motivation of that of Lord Voldemort. I wanted the villain to be different from Voldemort, a menacing villain who had menace to him. This character himself has no menace to him through his design. He looks ridiculous. His hairstyle is ridiculous. His eye is ridiculous. If he came to kill me, I wouldn't be scared. I would laugh my head off at this guy who looks as ridiculous as he does. He's not menacing. But yet the film tries to enforce that and through the design himself it would fail anyway.
The film has a pretty forgettable visual look as well. Its colour scheme has very dark colours. Hinting that the movie is dark. That would be fine, if it had a memorable setting. In the first film, I thought the film didn't really use the potential of a setting New York had. How the Ministry functioned there. This film had Paris as its setting. The setting was not really distinct. You could have any other setting - Moscow, Madrid, New Dehli - all of which you could have guessed. If they didn't reveal it before, you would only know because Grindelwald revealed it saying "I hate Paris." Probably his most complex line in the film. I wanted them to use the Ministry to its full potential like in 'Order of the Phoenix'. Fails. The setting is there to be the setting. Hogwarts is just Hogwarts and you've seen it before. Not really any changes other than different pupils and character's respective age and look. Like the first film, wasted potential.
Despite insisting it is dark, but the movie throws in humour. Out of nowhere. Some of the humour is generated through Jacob. Jacob is insufferable in this movie. I didn't like in the first. I hated him in this movie. The humour was always out of nowhere and 100% of the time out of place as well. Newt and Tina told some unfunny jokes as well. The humour just didn't fit. They would be fine. It could still at least funny, but it's just cliché and the humour they do originally tell is dreadful. Jacob is meant to be the comic relief, and was a mild annoyance. He then got so overused we had another case of Tow Mater. I'm not done with this movie yet either.
The movie is a part of the Wizarding World cinematic universe. Rowling seems to be extremely slowly putting the pieces together. This is extremely unsatisfying to the fullest. It's like a television show to that extent. Marvel had so many movies leading up to Infinity War and had a great pay off and also the movies had twists that actually impacted that respective movies. It focuses on the standalone plot instead on future movies in the franchise. The plots are always easy to follow - much unlike this pretty bad movie. It's trying far too hard to be Harry Potter than focus on itself. This means the movie has a flaw similar to that of the "Dark Universe" by Universal.
The movie ends on a cliffhanger. So all of this impacts the next film, which leads to an issue. Nothing really mattered in this film. It just matters in the next film. And that impacts the next. It basically leads to nothing. Not one thing. This an symbolic issue of the movie being obsessed with being a franchise film that it just makes the film even worse. And that if foreign audiences do not see it - most of the money the film was made by foreign audiences, the franchise probably won't continue and these movies are building up for the next movie - which doesn't even exist yet. This is a serious flaw that must be fixed.
Much of this must be placed on the director. And it's the director of most of the HP films. David Yates. Man can direct a good movie, but with this I think he mishandled it. The creative aspects weren't that creative most of the time and this man can really be creative and it can show in this movie which I will type about later. The ideas mostly weren't that creative in my opinion and I felt like the ideas severely underwhelmed. The visual look as well didn't really shine - must also be placed on him. Something that the first Fantastic Beasts was lacking as well. Many the shots are not imaginative or that memorable - something that other HP films definitely had. This means that the twists - which aren't even surprising.
The twists leave no surprise and make Disney twists looking like shocking twists which you never saw coming. They treat Queenie's betrayal of Tina, Jacob and Newt is not surprising. As soon as I saw her and Jacob broke up, I predicted she would join Grindelwald. 100% correct. The fact that they do treat as surprising and this extremely dramatic moment, just worsens the moment - which was boring anyway. I would care, but Queenie's relationship with other characters are so bland and so uninteresting I really don't care what happens. And the movie wants to care and yet I cannot through not much good interactions with other characters and not really anything especially good about her character.
Even though I feel the Beasts don't serve a purpose here, they still are pretty great. Pickett - my favourite Beast, gets quite a few nice scenes in the movie. The bird one was pretty cool. As was the Chinese Dragon, which in fairness was an extremely creative idea which was executed well. The movie shares it with the first that the best thing in it is the Beasts. Which remain creative and imaginative too every degree. I like the moment when a person goes in the bubble that was a neat idea. I liked the title font. That's really it actually. The Special Effects still are great and extremely detailed in the Beasts as well.
In conclusion, this movie is a disaster to every single meaning of the word a disaster. It fails to do what a sequel should do in every aim, the twists which are so predictable leave no impact on the movie itself but instead movies that don't even exist yet, obsessed with it being a cinematic universe, the plot being a mess, uninteresting human characters, some terrible humour and an abysmal villain - thrown in with terrible makeup and the movie has awful editing with no interesting visuals or moments and lots of it being disposable. Potterheads might like it, but I'll never get why. I will stand by the mark I give this movie. It completely deserves it.
Come at me Potterheads.