Fantastic Beasts 2 – Droppin’ the Quaffle

fantastic beasts 2 review posterRelease Date: November 15th, 2018
Cast:  Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp
Director: David Yates
Studio: Warner Bros.
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Spoilers: Mild
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes | Wikipedia

Rating:

Yikes!  JK Rowling has given us her latest entry in the Wizarding World and…. it ain’t great. Let’s get into it.

Beginning just a few months after the end of the first film, the movie picks right up following Grindelwald and his impending transfer from American wizard jail to Europe. Go figure, the bad guy escapes and it’s up to secret agent-esque Aurors and powerful wizards to chase him down!
 
Oh wait, not its not. For some reason it falls to Newt Scamander, the magical vet who is only interested in tending his animals.
 
And there it is, the big hiccup in this whole thing. Newt Scamander is an interesting character, different from anything we’ve seen in the wizarding world before (well a cross between a Neville Longbottom and a Hagrid). He fulfills a slot in the world not often seen. A talented magical zoologist handling all sorts of rad creatures across a world yet unexplored.
 
Instead, he is put up against Voldemort 2.0 (or .5 since it’s a prequel? I don’t know). Well, that ruins the odds for that cool movie. A magical Avatar
 
Instead, The Crimes of Grindelwald. Those crimes? Chasing down Creedence, because he’s of a lost bloodline. Rallying up the wizarding world to torch the muggles. And when he gets that chance to lay his plan, it’s almost a believable enough reason.
 
Spoiler: Humans are warlike, and they’ll eventually level their weapons of mass destruction on the wizarding world. Okay, that tracks, these wizards are going to get spooked into taking action first and thus the schism between ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ wizards develops. And in that moment you see a serious division and set up for a wizarding war. Could be cool!
 
But here’s the thing. This movie doesn’t quite get there, and the characters never go anywhere. Crimes of Grindelwald falls closer to the Star Wars prequels than the OT.  We get a bunch of unnecessary, unasked questions answered.
 
Ever wonder about Nagini, Voldemort’s snake? No of course not. No one did. But now we know she was once a woman. Unfortunately, she says a total of 3 lines. Maybe? What about the Dumbledore family relationship with Phoenixes? No? Huh go figure.
 
And so it goes. Answering questions no one wanted, dropping dumps of exposition one after another and doing it in a fairly trite way. More prophecies, more secret family members and twists. It’s just, ugh, every attempt at a twist or surprise or moment just falls flat.
 
And don’t get started on the weird timeline issues, head over to /r/harrypotter and they’ll crush that out for you no sweat.
 
While there are a few glowing moments, rather than be points of awe they are left to be shadows, reminders, and suggestions of what could have been.