The movie world must give full attention to this second of the Fantastic Beasts film if only to do a kiss of the ring to the fantastic Harry Potter films and to the first Fantastic Beasts film. The Beasts movies precede the eight Potter films in the chronology of the Potter time line. Fantastic Beasts took in $814 million and the Potter films $7.7 billion. People love the magical world and will pay to see it on screen. But do we want to see this one?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has every component part that can make up a fantastic film. Director David Yates made the previous Beasts film to great success and also directed four of the Potter films. He is solid. Writer and now producer J.K. Rowling, the novelist behind the Potter books and films, wrote the screen play. No one knows the subject better than she.
The cast of accomplished actors has an Oscar and six more nominations to speak of the expertise in their part. The producers spent a gigantic $200 million to make the film.
Beautiful Zoe Kravitz returns in her role as Leta Lestrange. Her parents are Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, perhaps the most handsome couple of that generation. Jude Law plays Dumbledore, the wizard head of Hogwarts academy for magical children. Eddie Redmayne stars again in his role as Newt Scamander (a great name). The controversial Johnny Depp plays the villain Grindelwald in the title role.
And the special effects have a definite coolness to them with many weird or cute and cuddly critters to amuse us.
Sadly, the sum is less than the parts this time. We have way too much plot for one film. Just as an example we have four love stories to follow, none of which come to a resolution. The story of the evil maniac Grindelwald would be plenty for one movie without all the extras. There is an important subplot about a young fellow with a mysterious and complex past that eats up a lot of screen time and again, with no resolution. In fact, the film just sort of stops rather than concludes. The various lovers do not become united, the bad guy doesn't suffer defeat and we are left wondering just what is the point of the entire exercise.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald runs for a strong two hours and 14 minutes. This less than average two and a half saw blade movie has a mild PG-13 rating. Made on a $200 million budget the film is already profitable.
Best quote-Tina Goldstein (played by Katherine Waterston) describes people in the Ministry of Magic as 'A bunch of careerist hypocrites.' Even magical government is still government.