Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald Words Wil­liam J Con­nolly

Gay Times Magazine - - REVIEW -

The wait is fi­nally over as the sec­ond in­stall­ment of J.K. Rowl­ing’s wizard­ing world ar­rives with an all-star cast and a no­tice­ably darker tale. In an ev­er­more murky and di­vided world where Grindel­wald plans to raise an army of pure-blood wizards to rule, for­mer Hogwarts stu­dent Newt Sca­man­der takes an un­ex­pected trip to Paris in search of pos­si­ble love with Tina Gold­stein, and to stop Grindel­wald tak­ing greater hold. But in true Rowl­ing style, not ev­ery­thing goes to plan and our cute and clumsy lead­ing man and his ev­er­grow­ing num­ber of coun­ter­parts end up forced to de­cide which side they’re re­ally on, via a se­ries of twists and turns.

While the first in­stall­ment in the new Pot­ter spin-off fran­chise fo­cused on the in­tro­duc­tion of Newt Sca­man­der (Ed­die Red­mayne) and his suit­case of fan­tas­tic beasts, The Crimes of Grindel­wald moves for­ward with even more ex­cit­ing new crea­tures and faces. Johnny Depp gives a sin­is­ter turn as Grindel­wald, while Jude Law cap­tures the charm and heartache of a young Dum­ble­dore who is un­able to con­front his great love (who just so hap­pens to be the dark­est wizard in the world). Else­where, Clau­dia Kim gives a truly trans­for­ma­tive per­for­mance as Nagini, giv­ing Volde­mort’s fu­ture pet snake some in­trigu­ing back­story. Then there is Ezra Miller’s in­tense por­trayal of Cre­dence Bare­bone – a tor­tured soul eas­ily ma­nip­u­lated in his sharp-fo­cussed mis­sion to find out his true parent­age.

With in­cred­i­ble set pieces, plenty of mag­nif­i­cent magic, and some truly epic ac­tion se­quences, The Crimes of Grindel­wald is a vis­ual feast more grand than any you’d find in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. But what it of­fers in spell­bind­ing spe­cial ef­fects, it lacks in plot. Don’t get us wrong, there are mo­ments that we didn’t see com­ing. But get­ting to those fi­nal mo­ments feels slug­gish at times, slowly re­ar­rang­ing a large roster of char­ac­ters and their mo­tives in place for fu­ture in­stal­ments. There are en­joy­able mo­ments here for any fan of the Wizard­ing World, but over­all it trav­els at the pace of a Blue­bot­tle broom­stick rather than the speed and ex­cite­ment of a Fire­bolt.

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