In the magician sequel FANTASTIC BEASTS: GRINDELWALD’S CRIME The smart magician Newt Scamander has to take on an overpowering opponent. We will reveal in our review whether more happens than in the narratively clear first part.
The Plot Summary
Captured with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and the Magical Congress of the United States of America, the magician Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) carries out his threat and escapes custody. He gathers an entourage around him who do not know his true plans: the rule of pure-blooded wizards over all non-magical beings. To thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) turns to his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help without realizing the dangers. Love and loyalty are tested, and even between best friends and within families, divisions grow in the magical world.
Movie explanation of the ending
The first of three planned spin-offs from the “Harry Potter” series emerged in 2016 from the fictional textbook “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,” written by the now billionaire writer Joanne K. Rowling under the pseudonym Newt Scamander . The planned trilogy has now even been expanded: five films are scheduled to be released in cinemas worldwide by 2024. And as we know Hollywood, this doesn’t have to be the end of the road, as long as all of these parts perform as well at the box office as the beginning. “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” grossed over $800 million worldwide, and in this country almost 3.5 million visitors bought a cinema ticket for the adventures of the clever magician and expert on magical animals. We also liked the blockbuster, which was so unconventional on paper – at least in terms of feeling and atmosphere. However, we did complain that the fantasy film, which was initially so pleasantly well-behaved, suddenly unleashes a din in the finale that doesn’t do justice to the careful structure. In addition, it was already clearly noticeable back then that “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” is primarily a prelude. And that’s exactly how the film felt in the end, despite all the nostalgic feel-good. In the sequel “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” something more has to happen on a content level. And since there is no specific book template for the second part – after all, it is all still based on an animal encyclopedia of just 128 pages – it was only possible to have a limited idea in advance where the journey would go. The answer is: in much darker territory.
Johnny Depp takes on the role of the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
If you were wondering before watching “The Crimes of Grindelwald” why the film, in contrast to its predecessor, was given an age rating of 12 and over, the opening clarification about this rating increase is clear: The film begins with Grindelwald’s escape from prison, which director David Yates (responsible for a total of four “Harry Potter” films and is currently scheduled for the entire “Beasts” saga) staged as a dark, brutal chase above the clouds. It is not the atmosphere dominated by cracking lightning and torrents of rain that gives the whole thing the gloom promised at the beginning, but above all Grindelwald’s rigor in keeping his pursuers at bay. There is no shooting here, but the threats made and the magic used are – in the truest sense of the word – to be understood as deadly serious. The film title is therefore justified, because it is primarily about the crimes of a serious criminal and only secondarily about the fantastic animal creatures. And even though we haven’t seen as much of Grindelwald as we have of his unofficial successor Lord Voldemort (both wizards were considered the most evil in the world at the time), the evilness is definitely comparable. Grindelwald’s plans have an even larger dimension: he dreams of a ruling race that will dominate the entire world. This not only reveals a certain global political explosiveness, but also Johnny Depp, who has recently become more and more often committed to extravagant characters (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) gives the snow-white magician a captivating coldness from the start, completely free of winks, posturing or (pseudo-)cool one-liners. We haven’t seen Depp so menacing and simply serious in a long time – and it fits the film perfectly!
The “fantastic beasts”, which also give the title, again play a major role in the sequel to the “Harry Potter” spin-off and are a welcome feature (especially for younger viewers who need a moment to catch their breath every now and then). Counterbalance to the very dark storyline surrounding the hunt for Gellert Grindelwald. Of course, their focus is primarily on the sweet Niffler, a type of mole with a duck beak. And the best thing about his figure is not the design, which is full of details (even the tip of his nose keeps moving up and down, but the breathing noises that the Niffler makes cannot be beaten in terms of cuteness), but above all that Makers therefore know how to use their scene stealer skillfully. Once again, the makers distribute the attention very evenly across all possible mythical creatures and make sure that their appearances are relevant to the progression of the plot: The Niffler and his many companions are not just part of the party because they are particularly cute, but also because they are a great help to Newt and his friends in crucial moments. It’s not just the scenes with the animals that are animated at the highest level, so that a nomination in the Oscar category “Best Effects” should be a mere formality. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” looks almost incredible in its fusion of very chic CGI and great set designs (keyword: circus) and also shows that a film can be playful and varied even if, on the whole, it is is very dark.
Newt (Eddie Redmayne) and Tina (Katherine Waterston) pick up a promising lead in Paris.
The fact that you can get enough of the great design at any time over the course of the lush 134 minutes, in which as a “normal connoisseur” of the franchise you certainly won’t immediately understand all the details, helps the film through some of the narrative lengths. Because “Fantastic Beasts 2” is primarily a link between two other films. And so Joanne K. Rowling primarily uses this to add a few more character facets to the characters she already established in part one. This time, too, she extensively illuminates the (also amorous) private life of Newt and Co., which in its (still) very superficial view is almost a little soapy works. Nevertheless, her background gradually expands, which can also be said for the Hogwarts universe itself. Rowling invents more and more details and connections both for her protagonists and for the world in which they live, culminating in a return to Hogwarts in “The Crimes of Grindelwald” (of course, in keeping with John Williams’ well-known “Harry Potter.” “-Theme). However, for spoiler reasons, we don’t want to reveal what exactly this is all about, nor do we want to reveal any larger or smaller revelations about characters known in the past. What we can say, however, is (also because it was already announced in the trailer) that there is a very prominent returnee, Albus Dumbledore, Jude Law (“Sherlock Holmes”) very convincing as a loyal and kind teacher in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Especially in the interaction with Eddie Redmayne as the clumsy, but this time also much more withdrawn Newt Scamander, who seems to have found his calling with this role, Law scores with his acting, which immediately makes him recognizable as a younger version of Dumbledore. Also Katherine Waterston (“Steve Jobs”)Dan Fogler (“Balls of Fury”)Ezra Miller (“Justice League”)Zoe Kravitz (“Kin”) and Alison Sudol (“Between Us”) are back in the game and all embody the development of their characters believably, which we don’t want to anticipate either.
Conclusion: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” continues the solid start of the “Harry Potter” spin-off series in a much darker way, scores once again with cute animals and, despite some bumps in the script, makes you really want to see part three.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from November 15th – also in 3D!