The newest addition to the Harry Potter universe

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The newest addition to the Harry Potter universe

Claire Moylan, Features Editor

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In this review, there will be slight spoilers for both Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. If you have not seen both films and do not want any spoilers, I would not read this review.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them introduces our protagonists and antagonists as well as some of Newt’s beasts. We met our main protagonist, Newt Scamander, and our primary antagonist, Grindelwald. The first film’s purpose was to establish the setting and time period Newt Scamander lived in, the 1920s, and establish the latest crisis of the wizarding world: Grindelwald’s goal of wizard supremacy.  

Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald’s purpose was to establish who Grindelwald is and what his motives are. This movie also introduced some new characters like Leta Lestrange and Theseus Scamander. Because many familiar names appear, this movie can get confusing to someone who has no previous knowledge regarding the Harry Potter universe. Like the first film, the second one was beautifully made with fantastic sets, acting and effects. The lack of new beasts was slightly disappointing, but when beasts did appear, I couldn’t help but be in awe of Newt Scamander’s skill in controlling caring for them. Besides that, there were some issues with the main plot of the film.

Throughout the film, I was confused. There were two time skips at the very beginning, and there were multiple location jumps as well. The characters would be in London, then in Paris, then at Hogwarts. This jumping around sometimes made it hard to follow the ongoing events. Also, each character has his or her own plot. Queenie and Jacob had their own drama, leading to Queenie having an “adventure” with Grindelwald. Newt was trying to find Tina, and Tina was trying to find Credence, but Dumbledore wanted Newt to find Credence as well. Essentially, a lot was happening, so the central focus, sometimes, was lost.

I also had issues with some characters. To me, Leta Lestrange wasn’t really important to the overlying plot. She may be important in later movies, but her role was replaceable in this film. Lestrange’s half-brother was also a useless character who only existed to further explain Leta’s character. I also didn’t like how Credence turned out to be a long lost member of the Dumbledore family named Aurelius. It explains why Credence is so powerful, but it also feels disjointed when looking back at the original Harry Potter series. Despite some of the negative reviews about Johnny Depp’s performance, I believe he did a fantastic job at embodying Grindelwald’s subdued but intimidating persona.

Overall, I would give the movie 4 out of 5. This movie’s quality was superb, but the plot needed some work, and the continuity of it with the original Harry Potter series felt lost.