Editorials

The Highs & Lows of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

Welcome to one of our newest articles that we will be featuring on the Apocaflix! Movies site, where we will dive into movies that were recently released and give you our thoughts about what we thought worked and didn’t work for the movie. In the article you WILL find heavy spoilers so know that these articles will reveal important plot Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Postertwists and and material in the movie. So without further ado, lets get started with our first movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is of course the sequel to the original Harry Potter franchise spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and while the film didn’t reach the explosive popularity that the Harry Potter franchise found, it did bring the wizarding world back to fans who wanted to see more from the Harry Potter universe. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was received well, but ultimately was a plot twist for fans thinking that the movie would revolve around Newt Scamander and his adventures as a Magizoologist. Instead we found out that the movie would tell the tale of Grindelwald and his rise and fall to power. While many fans were left confused, we quickly grew interest in the tale as in the wizarding world, the story of Grindelwald comes as close to the story of Voldemort as possible. But now that the sequel has been released, let’s dive into what worked and didn’t work in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

High: Johnny Depp as Grindelwald

Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The a Crimes of Grindelwald

The backlash that came from Johnny Depp taking on the role of Grindelwald was quite
strong, especially after his personal life controversies spilt over into his acting career. People were not sold on the fact that Johnny Depp was going to be a good actor to play the lead villain for the franchise and felt he was the wrong choice. A lot of people, myself included, expected an over dramatic and extravagant performance by Depp that would be reminiscence of Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. The fear would be that this would be a serious toned movie that is a dark tale and his portrayal would be that of the eclectic over dramatic acting that we have seen from him recently. But boy were we wrong.

In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald we are treated to a Grindelwald that lets his actions speak louder than his words. He is a dark character that doesn’t need to let words speak for him, but when he does, it mesmerizes you which is why Grindelwald has amassed such a following in the movie. The way he moves and talks is like a smooth criminal that almost, pun intended, puts you under a spell, which we see a lot of people fall for including Queenie. To top it off his speech and action sequences in the beginning and the end of the movie only drew you in more. While we expected more from Grindelwald being that his name was in the title, he was a great part of the movie if not one of the best.


Low: Lack of Nagini

Claudia Kim as Nagini in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

One of the biggest hypes that fans freaked out over was the fact that Lord Voldemort’s most faithful companion, Nagini the snake, was going to get an origin/backstory in the movie. Nobody saw this move coming from J.K. Rowling, and it was met with cheers and a lot of happy fans knowing that this was something huge that was connecting to the original Harry Potter films. Even more we found out that Nagini wasn’t just a snake but a person born with a “blood curse” that eventually takes over their body and turns them permanently into an animal. Fans were shocked to know that one of the most ruthless characters was actually a woman before becoming the vicious snake and were hoping
we would get a little bit of info on how she became who she was. Instead we got nothing.

While it is early for them to introduce such a huge character easter egg like Nagini, the hype that was created over the fact the Nagini the snake was actually a person, played fantastically by Claudia Kim, when all in all she was barely in the movie! We got her intro in the beginning and that her and Credence were friends or maybe even more, another vague part, but other than her being his companion that was pretty much it. She didn’t do anything or have any major impact whatsoever. While again this movie is largely a set-up movie and her story will be told in the future, we were left feeling like she was a pointless add on to draw fans in.


High: Jude Law as Dumbledore

Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

When we found out in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that Grindelwald was going to be a main focus of the franchise, many fans instantly knew that this would mean that Albus Dumbledore was going to be drawn into the franchise. Fans eagerly waited to find out who was going to fill the iconic role of Albus Dumbledore and when Jude Law
was announced, fans were ecstatic at the casting knowing how amazing of an actor Jude Law is. And man oh man did he not disappoint in this movie.

Dumbledore is one of the most complex roles in the wizarding world as a lot of his life was hidden in secret. With Jude Law’s smooth demeanor and charm, he played Dumbledore fantastically. While watching him, you believed everything that was coming out of his mouth and got that same feelings that you got when Dumbledore would talk to Harry in the original movies whenever he talked to any other characters. While they didn’t directly dive into him being gay and his love for Grindelwald, you got the sense it was there and left you wanting to know more especially since the two made an unbreakable vow never to move against one another. The anticipation of seeing Grindelwald and Dumbledore together is going to be amazing moving forward.


Low: Death of Leta Lestrange

Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

A lot of people, myself included, were extremely disappointed in the first movie only hinting at the fact that Leta Lestrange was going to be a character in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and not actually seeing her in the movie. So when the second movie came around, her story was one of the things that many fans were looking forward to. While we did get her back story and how her and Newt had a unspoken love for each other, we
were all disappointed that they killed her off at the end of the movie!

The name Lestrange holds a dark place in Harry Potter fans hearts as Helena Bonham Carter nailed the role of Bellatrix Lestrange and truly cemented herself as one of the best villains next to Voldemort. So we thought maybe we would get some type of history or backstory on the Lestrange name and maybe find out if all Lestrange family members were bad. But nope, instead they decided to give her a bit of drama as we found out she accidentally killed her infant brother and then kill her off 30 minutes later. It’s unfortunate that the killed her off because Zoe Kravitz was fantastic I would have loved to see her moving forward in the movies, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.


High: The Twists

Ezra Miller in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

There were quite the bit of twists that you didn’t see coming in the movie. Unfortunately one of them was given away before the movie, Nagini, which would have been a fantastic twist to find out in the movie, but we did get our fair share of other shocking moments in the movie. One of those twists was that our favorite soft spoken mind reading witch Queenie, was enticed by the words of Grindelwald and she ended up
joining him at the end of the movie. While nobody saw that coming, what happened at the end of the movie NOBODY saw coming.

The most shocking reveal from the movie is that Credence is in fact a Dumbledore. If anyone saw that coming you might as well be a mind reader because in no way did I see that happening at all. While many of us believe that Grindelwald is lying in order for him to go after Albus Dumbledore, it is what happens when the baby bird turns out to be a Phoenix that has many thinking that Grindelwald is telling the truth. While we don’t know for certain, many people are left on the fence on whether or not the like this twist. I think its a little early to judge but we will have to see if this one stays on the upside and doesn’t turn into a downside.


Low: The Movie’s Pace

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

One of the biggest complaints that fans are talking about is the pace of the movie. For the most part the movie is clearly a set-up movie that is looking forward to the other 3 that are going to follow the first two. And while the beginning of the movie starts out strong with a fast paced battle between the MACUSA who are taking Grindelwald away and Grindelwald’s followers. From there on you can say that the movie goes into a lull depending on how into the movie you get it may get boring.

The thing that many people say saved the movie from being a bore was the ending of the movie and the fight between the Aurors and Grindelwald. It was nice seeing Newt and his brother Theseus working together and the bond they had in the end, but unfortunately for a lot of people the gap in the middle of the movie that slows the pace did have a large affect on peoples opinion of the movie.


Conclusion

The movie itself is a fun ride that gives you that Fantastic Beasts  feel that we got from the first movie, while kind of tapping into the magic from the Harry Potter films by bringing in old characters that we are familiar with and returning to Hogwarts even just for that short time. While the movie is clearly a set-up movie for what is to come, wizarding fans that can appreciate it for being another story in the Wizarding World will enjoy the film. Personally I walked out enjoying what I saw and want to go watch it again. Where they go forward with the movies will either be a hit or miss from here on out.

Let us know what you think! Do you agree with what we listed? Should something be added or removed from out list? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

4 replies »

  1. I cannot believe you put as “highs” Jude Law as Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as Grindelwald – these are the biggest, you can even say, “personal” disasters for me as I see this movie. I will never see these actors as these characters no matter how many films they would make. As for Credence being a Dumbledore, I did not expect that (thanks for the spoiler for which I naturally do not care :)), but I did actually expect something as silly.

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