FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE continues the story that the last movie, THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD, ended at. For people who’ve forgotten key points, the first act nicely gets viewers back up to speed. I really needed it since the last film was so forgettable. I didn’t remember much from it other than that the big bad guy is on the loose, and he’s going to cause trouble for all of muggle-kind!
The key thing that makes this world engaging is in how important one particular magical creature is to move the story along in each film. The first work concerns an Obscurus, the second a Nagini, and the third a Qilin. In the latest, this bird of gentle spirit can see through deception, and will bow to a human with a heart of gold.
Curiously, the marketing of this film leans heavily on the fact we’re getting to visit Hogwarts again (to which it’s sadly miniscule) and Dumbledore (Jude Law) is the focus. I love the people he’s personally recruited to save the world–Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), and Lally Hicks (Jessica Williams).
Grindelwald’s desire for ‘domination’ isn’t over and I was perplexed as to why he’s allowed to be a candidate. Despite all that went on from the prior film, a man on the run, he’s been accepted back to the wizarding community and allowed to run for office. I’m disappointed he hasn’t earned the title of one of the “Most Dangerous Dark Wizards of All Time” in this film. I can see Depp pull off a one-of-a-kind performance to rival Voldemort’s but sadly, the role is no longer his. Mikkelsen is a great replacement. He conveys a different festering evil which mirrors how Hitler charmed his way up the ranks to fashion Nazi Germany.
As for whether we’ll get a great wizarding war to mark the finale, that remains to be seen until the producers decide if this series is worth continuing. The recent drama concerning Ezra Miller (who plays Credence) and J.K. Rowling don’t reflect the finer aspects of what the Wizarding World film franchise represents. Their actions and words aren’t kind and something must be done to consider what’s next for this Warner Bros marketed cash cow.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBELDORE is now playing in theatres.