It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.Written by
When Newt and Tina are caught infiltrating the French Ministry of Magic, Newt can clearly be heard saying that the cats are 'familiars, despite the fact that on Pottermore.com, screenwriter and Harry Potter author JK Rowling clearly states that familiars "do not exist within the world of Harry Potter." See more »
There's a rumor that Newt Scamander is headed to Paris. I know he's working under your orders. What do you have to say for yourself, Dumbledore?
If you'd ever had the pleasure to teach him, you'd know Newt is not a great follower of orders.
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The second sequel in the fledgling spinoff follows a familiar pattern, but too many characters and too many storylines rob it of its most enduring charms
Even magic takes a little bit of planning, and in David Yates' "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," both are in short supply. In it second outing, the cracks are starting to show in J.K. Rowling's much-hyped followup series to "Harry Potter," a franchise that is at the mercy of slapdash planning (these films are cobbled together from various pieces of "Wizarding World" material, not single novels) and the kind of higher-up decree that promised five films (five!) before the first one hit theaters. It's a lot of time to fill, and while the second film in the franchise nudges its narrative forward, it's at the expense of a bloated, unfocused screenplay.
Mostly, "The Crimes of Grindelwald" is hampered by the unwieldy meshing together of disparate plots that could service their own films (some of them surely better than others). At the center (when he's not been shunted aside by all those competing narratives), there's ostensible franchise star Eddie Redmayne as nervous magizoologist Newt Scamander. Newt's ditzy charm grounded the first film; and when he's allowed to lead this second story, it's as whimsical and good-hearted as any in the franchise.
It's all the other subplots that damage that notion, from a charisma-free Johnny Depp taking over the role of evil Wizard Gellert Grindelwald to a convoluted section all about the family tree of Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Portions involving a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) can't reach their full potential; they're consistently cut short to zing back to yet another plotline (and that's without diving into all the subplots about Newt's brother, his ex-girlfriend, his beloved New York friends, and Credence's companion Nagini). All this convolution promises to converge during Grindelwald's coming-out party, a fear-filled rally that is as timely as it is unsettling. Before that, Yates and Rowling must bring together a motley crew of wizards and muggles both good and bad.
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