Not every sequel should be made. Often Hollywood refuses to acknowledge because certain segments of fans are like sheep and a drawn to any film which even remotely touches on a subject they are into. David Yates’s latest foray into the Harry Potter universe is a perfect example of this. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald” is a bloated, meandering mess which has no idea where it’s going nor how it wants to end. There comes the point with the film where the narrative is so scattered that I lost all interest in what was occurring.
So what is occurring? Essentially Newt Scamander (Academy Award Winner Eddie Redmayne) is trying to return to some sense of normalcy (which for him is finding animal oddities and protecting them from the rest of the world). However, when you just engaged in battle across New York City with a dark force (played by Ezra Miller) and Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), you are on everyone’s radar. Predictably, Depp’s character (who was captured at the end of the 1st film) manages to accomplish a bold escape from his shackles and begin plotting to control both the wizarding and non-wizarding worlds. Now, had the movie just stuck with this storyline and sought to develop it provocatively, I’d have been all in on Yates’s latest project.
Instead, we are besieged by character after character with some minor connection to this universe (and specifically Newt) on top of a younger version of Dumbledore who appears to be wrestling with some demons of his own. Too many individual narratives end up diluting the portions of the film which matter most of all. At best this film appears to merely a bridge to what producers hope are future films. Don’t bank on the future at the expense of quality!
Unfortunately, fans who are driven by nostalgia and nothing more will flock to this film and likely make it the #1 movie in America. I guess if you are inspired to go back into that Harry Potter Universe then, by all means, check out the film. But if anyone is looking for an entertaining time at your local theater, then stay away from this blatant cash grab.