Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

  • First and foremost I want to say a big THANK YOU to iHeart for sending me to this pre-screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on Wednesday night! It was exciting, special and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got to take a friend of mine with me who is also a big potterhead and she was pumped so it was super cool for both of us. 
My friend Sofia & I at Fantastic Beasts screening

My friend Sofia & I at Fantastic Beasts screening

With that being said I will mention again here that there are NO SPOILERS in this review. As a huge Harry Potter fan in general I respect the notion to #protectthesecrets. I believe each individual should experience the surprises and magic of the movie. It's not up to me to ruin it for you in terms of big reveals. I will expand on information you already know and give insight on what you can expect and take away from the movie. Of course I will give you my honest feelings about the movie and my rating of it. Here is a video I recorded right after seeing the movie when my feelings and thoughts were fresh:

My favorite take aways from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald:

  • Rowling's ability to tie in the Fantastic Beasts saga to the greater Harry Potter cannon/universe

-As I mentioned in the video, there are plenty of tie ins to the original books and story throughout this movie that we all know and Rowling is ultimately pulling those puzzle pieces together for us in this new adaption. She's showing us how the great war between Dumbledore and Grindelwald came to be. We heard about it through Harry Potter but Rowling gave us that visual of what that war and time period looked like through Newt's eyes.

  • New characters

It's always fun being introduced to new characters and seeing how they play a role in the greater story. A couple that I'm super intrigued by are Nagini (I will say no more about her out of fear of spoilers), Leta Lestrange, and Theseus Scamander. They play key roles in this 2nd movie and help tie in more puzzle pieces. In addition I will say I loved seeing a younger Albus Dumbledore. Now of course he's not a new character but he's a new version and it was a breath of fresh air (quite literally!). I think Jude Law played a young Dumbledore well. He got the mannerisms down perfectly and as a potterhead, he was believable to me to the point where I had no problem accepting that that was Dumbledore as a younger man so job well done by Law. I had my reservations but he proved to do well. 

  • New Beasts

-Of course it can't be another Fantastic Beasts movie with Newt without some new magical creatures we are introduced to! I have a new favorite beast and it comes in the form of a cat-like creature. As soon as you see the movie you'll know what I'm talking about...I fell for this fierce, lovable beast and was such in awe of it! As if the action isn't exciting enough for you with Grindelwald trying to build up his followers, seeing new beasts is reason enough to check out the movie!

Cast of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald

Cast of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald

Overall now that the dust has settled I rate this movie at a 4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars. I'm sure that comes as no surprise to anyone. Honestly though, I have no complaints but one and that one I can't tell you because it would be a spoiler! I will say it's a "WHAT?" moment. I actually blurted out in the theater that, "WHAT?!". Part of that was because I thought I didn't hear it correctly. The other I was confused based off what I know to be true in the Harry Potter universe and what I just heard that seemed to contridict that...I can't say anymore. I probably already said too much! My complaint though is that at times I had a hard time understanding what the characters actually said in their dialogue. Maybe it was because so much was going on. Maybe it was the accents. Maybe it was the pace at which they were speaking. It was probably a combination of all three. I so wanted to hear every little detail to soak it all in and at times I couldn't do that so I think I will have to see it a second time ot pick up anything I might have missed the first time around. That is my only gripe really and that ties in with my original complaint that I don't want to spoil. 

Theater seats

Theater seats

All in all I recommend seeing this film: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. You can't go wrong. Director David Yates directed the first two Harry Potter films, "Sorcerer's Stone & "Chamber of Secrets" and he did not disappoint in this 2nd adaptation of Fantastic Beasts. He stayed true to the story. The movie gives you action, magic, love, mystery, tragedy, and the wow factor. This movie is rated PG-13 and audiences are rating it 76% positive while critics are rating it only 45% on Rotten Tomatoes. My advice is don't listen to the critics! If you are a true fan of Harry Potter, you'll enjoy it in some capacity. Some parts you will like and some you won't be crazy about like me but overall it's enjoyable and worth a watch! I so wish I could dive into more details here about my specific thoughts on moments from the movie and theories I have relating to what I saw but I can't do that without spoiling it for you so I leave you with this vague overview. 

I hope it was encouraging that a Harry Potter fan was not disappointed in it as I had high expectations for it. The movie hits theaters today! If you haven't seen the trailer, check it out here:

Thanks again to my team at WRKO for sending me and I can't wait to hear what others have to say after watching it. Feel free to reach out to me via twitter: @lightningmarita with your thoughts and feelings about the film.

-Producer Lightning