The lackluster new “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” continues the story of Newt Scamander and friends as they try to foil the plans of the villainous Gellert Grindelwald and his ultimate plan of starting a war with the magicless muggles.
Starring Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts film series fails to be a noteworthy addition to the Wizarding World cinematic universe.
After getting ambushed by Grindelwald’s followers, including an unwell-looking Creedence played by Ezra Miller, Newt barely escapes with a rare magical baby animal. Credence takes the other baby back to Grindelwald, who is preparing for something big.
He assembles a team of old acquaintances to protect the baby Qilin including his old muggle friend Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, his brother Theseus, played by Callum Turner, and Professor Lally Hicks, played by Jessica Williams.
Under the authority of Dumbledore, he cannot make a move against his former lover Grindelwald due to a magical blood pact that they had sworn to in their youth.
Grindelwald’s ability to see flashes of the future keeps the team of witches, wizards, and one muggle on their toes. Plan after the plan keeps going awry leaving little wiggle room to defeat the evil Grindelwald, who keeps rising in social-political power.
He manipulated, controlled, and defiled many to go from an on-the-run fugitive to a candidate running to become the leader of the International Confederation of Wizards. He wants to start a war against the muggles, who they hide their powers from.
Newt and the gang have one last chance to defeat Grindelwald, by using the Qilin, who can be used to pick the winner of the election because they can identify the person with the purest soul.
The replacement of Johnny Depp, due to the abuse allegations against his ex-wife Amber Heard, was the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. The latter’s version of Grindelwald is definitely a darker improvement of Depp’s outlandish rendition in the first two films.
J.K. Rowling’s involvement in the film leaves a bad taste in the mouth, mainly due to her recent anti-LGBTQ+ stances and the fact that the story focused heavily on the homosexual relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
Out of all three Fantastic Beasts films, this definitely has the same dark and edgy tone that progressed throughout the original Harry Potter film series. However, it is still overall dull and flat.
David Yates, the director of all three Fantastic Beast films and the last four Harry Potter films, matched the cool, darker side of the story, but the film still just barely fizzled.
The best part about this film was the expansion of the Wizarding World as we currently know it. We see all different types of international witches and wizards, and really see how vast and complex the Wizarding World runs.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is playing at the nearest local movie theater.