Magic miss­ing from Pot­ter pre­quel project

Broome Advertiser - - Happenings -

Af­ter all those won­der­ful Harry Pot­ter books it would be fair to say we all thought J.K. Rowl­ing walked on wa­ter.

Now we are two movies into the au­thor and screen­writer’s new Pot­ter-ish se­ries Fan­tas­tic Beasts, a new con­sen­sus is tak­ing shape.

Rowl­ing is tread­ing wa­ter — per­haps sink­ing in our es­ti­ma­tions, even.

This is not to mark down the new Fan­tas­tic Beasts in­stal­ment The Crimes of Grindel­wald as a le­git­i­mate dud.

The gor­geous pe­riod vi­su­als and the lav­ish pro­duc­tion val­ues make this one of the best-de­signed movies of 2018.

If you sim­ply wish to im­merse your­self in pre-Harry in­car­na­tion of the Pot­ter-verse, this will do the trick nicely.

How­ever, when it comes to con­jur­ing true movie magic from the ex­ploits of Newt Sca­man­der and his many friends and foes, this se­quel strug­gles to cast a cap­ti­vat­ing spell for long. As the sole screen­writer of The Crimes of Grindel­wald, Rowl­ing must ac­cept a fair whack of the blame.

The new movie has too many char­ac­ters do­ing too much yap­ping.

As be­fore, the plot out in the mid-to-late 1920s, but this time the ac­tion shifts from a dark, drab New York City to a grey, gay Paris.

It is here the wicked dark wizard Gellert Grindel­wald (Johnny Depp) has es­caped from the magic author­i­ties to whip up a war against No-Majs (what they used to call Mug­gles back then, ap­par­ently).

As in the first Fan­tas­tic Beasts ad­ven­ture, Newt isn’t the most en­gag­ing or ex­cit­ing char­ac­ter around whom to frame a movie.

The film­mak­ers seem to sense this too, as he does go miss­ing in ac­tion of­ten here due to all the ex­cess sto­ry­telling bag­gage.

Ed­die Red­mayne re­turns as ma­g­i­zo­ol­o­gist Newt Sca­man­der.

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