Review: Welcoming all wizards

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J.K. Rowling invites fans to return to the Wizarding World with the newly released movie Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald. The film occurs months after the time frame of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, following Newt Scamander’s adventure in New York, where he fought to save his animals and Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) from the Magical Congress of the United States of America. Placed in the year 1927, the Fantastic Beasts film series will be prequels to the popular Harry Potter books and movies.

Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to aid in the defeat of Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Grindelwald wants an uprising of pure-blood wizards in society to conquer and rule over non-magic folk, leading him on a path of death and destruction. The lines of love and loyalty are tested as the Wizarding World face a new series of uprisings due to the power presented under the control of Grindelwald and his followers.

Original Harry Potter characters are introduced in this prequel with developing backstories previously unknown. Others were only made acquainted during the previous Fantastic Beasts with limited information available, among them are: Nicolas Flamel (Brontis Jodorowsky), Nagini (Claudia Kim), and Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz). However, despite the introductions of such characters, not much is learned about all characters, only revealing them at face level, minus a few flashbacks. Hopefully within the next three movies, much more will be uncovered as they lead up to the Harry Potter timeline.

As titled, creatures of the Wizarding World are seen in this movie, but it mainly focuses on the action of following Grindelwald. Most of the beasts featured were introduced in the previous Fantastic Beasts which led to a repetitive usage of characters and downplaying the fantastic element behind these beasts. However, the creatures that are newly introduced play key roles in the events following their introduction.

While Grindelwald is the focus of the film, the subplot of family lineage behind Credence’s past takes center stage as both Grindelwald and Scamander attempt to recruit the young obscurial. His existence threatens the secrecy of the Wizarding World and the connection between the human and the Wizarding World. A dramatic twist of heritage risks the exposure of all Wizarding communities across the globe.

I would definitely recommend this movie to all Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fans, as it had my jaw dropping at the most dramatic of scenes and everyone in the theater left buzzing in shock. With no post credit scenes, fans will have to wait for the third installment of Fantastic Beasts to be released.

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