Two years after we muggles were sucked back into the Wizarding World, comes the newest installment from one-reference-book-stretched-into-several-movies (sounds vaguely familiar) Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

The sequel is named Crimes of Grindelwald, aptly because we see what he does to bring disorder into an otherwise idyll world. The story continues with a race to find elusive obscurus Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), both by Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and the MACUSA, America’s equivalent of the UK Ministry of Magic. Once again, magical creatures expert Newt Scamander (Academy-award winner Eddie Redmayne) attempts to interfere neutrally but is forced to take sides after events rock not only his world but the magical community’s as well.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bYBOVWLNIs]

I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the move in IMAX (thanks ComCo Southeast Asia!) and let me tell you, it was worth it. The visuals were breathtaking and immersive. It’s as if you’re present with every spell cast and every beast charging your way. Not to mention, a group of my girlfriends collectively agreed on oggling Jude Law‘s butt on-screen, so being able to see it in IMAX was a bonus. (*wink*) Meanwhile, the soundtrack remains faithful to the previous Potter soundtracks with its high winds and glissandos.

The movie also features a powerhouse of actors who both look good and act good, such as Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Zoe Kravitz (Leta Lestrange), and even Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski)! The ones I mentioned above are included, of course.

My one and only problem with it, however…

[Spoilerfest ahead, but I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now.]

I was seriously taken aback by all the sudden plot deviations from the previous (and canon!) Potter books and movies, such as:

  • Nagini (played by personal favourite actor Claudia Kim) being a maledictus. We all know she was Voldemort‘s sidekick and final horcrux, but we didn’t know she used to be human and was bound by a blood curse. This is actually a plot point I can go behind as it doesn’t change anything, really.
  • The sudden appearance of Minerva McGonagall already working at Hogwarts when she wasn’t even born in canon yet.
  • Probably the biggest shock I had that left me slack-jawed after the movie, Credence actually being a long-lost Dumbledore named Aurelius.

I am not sure how this will play out in the next movies, but I do hope the writers will take into consideration what has happened after the movie’s events.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sEaYB4rLFQ]

Overall, Crimes of Grindelwald is a feast for the senses and for the mind, worthy of discourse not only because of its good points, but also the bad points. Time to sit down with Potterhead friends and argue over butterbeer, then!

[It’s been a while since I did reviews, huh! Next up, with the holidays knocking at your door, so does Ben.]

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Plot78%
Music85%
Casting95%
Cinematography95%
Design95%
Lumos (The Good)
  • Fantastic visual effects
  • Fantastic cast
Nox (The Bad)
  • Beastly plot retcons and revisions
90%Overall Score
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