The sequel? Prequel? Spinoff? Pre-sequel-spinoff? The spinoff series to the much loved ‘Harry Potter’ film series continues with this year's instalment of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series of films.. The new film continues to follow the “magizoologist”, Newt Scamander after his unintentional destruction of New York in the last film. The new film largely takes place in Paris this time, focusing on major plot points such as Grindelwald and his raising of an army and the true identity of the mysterious Credence, (played exceptionally by Ezra Miller). There are many role models to pick from for this film to follow, from Newt to his endearing and kind nature, to Jacob and his bravery despite not having magic and Dumbledore for his intelligence.
Now, while the plot of the film is relatively enjoyable, it definitely leaves a fair bit to be desired. Personally as a Harry Potter fan (of the books, mind you), I felt that the film tried to bring in far too much fan service, simply to remind viewers that this is indeed part of the wizarding world. The plot often comes off as somewhat predictable and lacking in focus, due to many of its plot threads. For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I won't mention any, but I will say that you must keep track of every single one of them if you wish to get the highest level of enjoyment out of the film.
One definite standout point for me in the film was Jude Law's portrayal Dumbledore. I felt that he played the character with a sense of dignified recklessness, something that you'd expect from the character in his younger days. This lends itself to the possibility that the unexplored areas and plot points of the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise could perhaps spinoff an anthology series. Similar to what the 'Star Wars’ franchise had done with 'Solo: A Star Wars Story’.
The film also does exemplify wonderous excitement through its electrifying special effects and computer-generated visuals.Truly helping immerse you into the world that the film has created. Albeit an immersion that is briefly destroyed by the random product placement of a Singer sewing machine.
To put it simply, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ is definitely a fun film that a family can enjoy, but for fans of the 'Harry Potter's series, it may come off as a superficial and
shallow cash-grab that shoehorns in unnecessary details, simply to provide concrete links to the parent series.