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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald…Johnny Depp Is Hitler?

Having a villain use superpowers to control or cultivate followers has been done in many movies, but truly intriguing villains are ones who merely use their powers of persuasion. Hitler used the powers of persuasion to convince what he called the Arian Race that they deserve to rule the world, and in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Johnny Depp does almost the exact same thing.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the sequel to the 2016 feature Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The sequel follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he attempts to fight the devious Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), once almost a brother to Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), now an escaped prisoner planning to have pure-bloods rule the magic and non-magic worlds at any cost. With Grindelwald’s persuasive powers, right, wrong, love, and friendship all become a blur, and a war is on the horizon. The only person who can fight Grindelwald is Credence (Ezra Miller), a powerful but confused wizard looking for his true identity, but no one knows the dark secret he holds.

Even though the plot does not seem that complicated, it is actually quite convoluted, twisted, and barely cohesive. The main point of the plot is to set up for upcoming sequels that will delve into the different aspects brought up in the movie.

The plot also relies on audiences’ knowledge from the first film, without a recap, which might leave some members of the audience confused since the first film debuted in 2016.

Another issue with the film is how it compares to its prequel; while the sequel offers more action and employs more impressive animation works, it loses some of the magic that was present in the first film. The green screen work is truly outstanding and is definitely worth seeing on the big screen, or even IMAX if possible.

The major issue with the acting is that there were too many supporting roles, so almost none of the actors really stood out or were able to show off their talents completely; this issue can be largely attributed to the screenplay. Eddie Redmayne continues to excel in his role and added an effortless lovable aspect to his character, despite the issues with the screenplay. Jude Law delivered on his role, but the Dumbledore shoes might be too big for anyone to fill, even someone with Law’s charisma and excellent acting chops. This might disappoint major Harry Potter fans who have very high expectations. Johnny Depp was an adequate villain but, did not convey the unstoppable charisma that we are used to from him.

As a Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts franchise fan, you will definitely want to see this, but there is a huge chance you won’t feel the satisfaction you crave.


Like This? Try

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Dark Shadows (2012), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). 

360 Tip

Costume designer Colleen Atwood has been dressing Johnny Depp for all kinds of characters for over 30 years.

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