FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (M) These crimes do not pay enough, US-UK, 134 min
After all those wonderful Harry Potter books and movies, we all thought J.K. Rowling walked on water. However, now that we are two movies into the author’s new Potter-ish series Fantastic Beasts, a new consensus is taking shape. J.K. Rowling is treading water. Perhaps even sinking. When it comes to conjuring true movie magic from the exploits of series hero Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his many friends and foes, this sequel (like its predecessor) struggles to cast a captivating spell. And as sole screenwriter, Rowling must accept the blame. The new movie has too many characters doing too much yapping. Mostly about stuff that is too hard to follow, or too soft to get invested in. A garbled story unfolds in 1927 Paris, where the wicked Dark Wizard known as Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) is spearheading a new movement to rid the world of No-Majs (aka Muggles).