Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third post-Harry Potter movie that is actually a prequel since it is a prequel, continues the Wizarding World saga. Surely, you already knew this.
So, here’s a list: There are still Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law as Newt Scamander and Dumbledore, but Mads Mikkelsen has replaced Johnny Depp in the role of villainous Grindelwald, who was formerly played by Johnny Depp in the previous film.
With Secrets of Dumbledore earning only $389 million worldwide, a significant drop from the previous film’s gross, it’s possible that the series’ remaining two installments will be shelved (I’ve seen sequels shelved for less; remember how Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a failure when it “only” earned $700 million?). This could spell trouble for the upcoming films.
According to the reports, there appears to be a dearth of actual creative inspiration in this place.
The Gist of Fantastic Beasts
Dumbledore (Law) contemplates in a restaurant. Mikkelsen plays Grindelwald. They’re mortal foes, but not fighting. A blood contract protects them from fighting, but probably not for long.
At least long enough for a movie. It’s stressful since they were once lovers. We can connect to the position until we understand these two men can spell-and-wand with the best of them, thus it’s a lot more difficult for them than for us normals for whom a tiny stick in the hand is merely an item on which one may roast a marshmallow.
Newt (Redmayne) in the woods. Didn’t you read the movie’s title? He’s fetching a wonderful beast. It’s a qilin, a unique and peculiar scaly doe-eyed hoofed quarter-ugly/three-quarters-cute creature.
We shall discover that this device can see into your soul and the future, which is why it’s employed to help pick the top wizard, known as the Supreme Mugwump, who will be elected by the people and/or selected by the qilin, whichever it works.
Grindelwald’s henchmen kill the mother and steal infant Qilin, whom he kills to get its abilities. Mama Qilin has twins, and Newt abducts the second one.
Now, Too Many Characters are introduced – all with funny British names like Brundlepud Gooseflange and Dilly Froompertuts – so they may participate in the story, which I shall outline. Dumbledore must halt Grindelwald’s world takeover.
It’s more sophisticated than that, with allusions to Nazi Germany, wand-zapper, and exotic animals, but to explain further risks boring you to death, and that’s the movie’s goal.
Folks are involved in what happens here and eager to chew on every detail of the long build-up to Dumbledore v Grindlewald: Yawn of Justice, so godspeed, people. And us? Yeesh.
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What Movies Will It Remind You Of?
The Harry Potter films have a lot in common with the Fantastic Beasts films, but all sense of wonder, character, purpose, and the dynamics of the tale have been painstakingly removed from them.
Our Take on Fantastic Beasts
If you’re looking for a true depiction of this film, go no farther than this photo of Dumbledore glumly spooning soup into his lips in the poorly lighted chamber. My guess is the soup is cold and tasteless as well.
Also, I’m surprised that this scene does not go on for at least three times as long as it does, given how many other scenes drag on way past the point at which we lose interest.
It’s as though the film adheres to the ancient Treebeard theory of stating just what it takes a long time to express.
Even while Dumbledore’s Secrets was severely under-edited, a separate franchise’s Morbius was severely reworked and ended up failing miserably with both fans and critics. Funny!
Everything in this film is new or old or alludes to something else; everything is important or doesn’t matter; it’s all just stuff, a lot of stuff.
Like a harrowing scene in which Newt saves the life of his brother from an enormous hydro-Scorpio, which is a rather thrilling section despite being overlong, an empty show of CGI effects that feels entirely unnecessary, existing merely to have an exciting piece to break up all the dull portions.
Characters such as Dumbledore, Grindlewald, and Ezra Miller’s gloomy and pouting Kylo Ren, who is revealed to be the figure in the title, are all undeveloped or boring in comparison to their potential (secrets, not beasts).
Sullen poops drive the drama right down to the ground with their antics. Newt is a stuttering, nondescript bundle of mannerisms in quest of a personality, and Redmayne continues to play him as a guy who just wants to get banged as the series’ oddly blank core character.
Our Call of Fantastic Beasts
Fantastic Beasts, on the other hand, is a gloomy series that becomes darker and worse with each new installment. When it comes to scripts, J.K. Rowling appears to be a master of fantasy prose but a terrible writer of screenplays (maybe because the FBs aren’t based on pre-existing material).
AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS unless you have a deep, abiding interest in Harry Potter and the Wizarding World, and are willing to put up with a lot of filler.