Magic missing from Potter prequel project
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.