So. I just got back from watching the Crimes of Grindelwald. and, just. ugh.
Pretty much everything that happens in the first movie was there for shock value and then in this movie, they discredit it immediately. Literally, the first 15 minutes is showing us Grindelwald escaping and telling us that Credence isn’t actually dead. Also, we’re just going to be making things up for fanservice purposes as we go along. Sure, great, I’m all for nostalgia buuuut at least make it fit and follow the rules that you’ve set for the original series. Someone, please take away JK’s screenplay pen.
Firstly, I want to point out, the editing of this film is just annoying. Camera angles and framing were a huge turn off for me but the scenes were also confusing and jarring. Especially in the beginning, not only just the basic cutscenes distracted me from the storytelling but also the flashback scenes were difficult to follow. It was nearly impossible for me to suspend my disbelief throughout most of this movie from the camera and editing work to the character development (or lack thereof) and motivations.
Again, JK wrote the original HP books and the screenplay for the Fantastic Beasts series herself. It’s all built in the same universe. Ideally, the rules and details from the first 7 books (we’re not going to talk about the Cursed Child here) and the screenplay for this new spin-off should all be the same because that’s how time works. Admittedly, I don’t remember all the details from the books, but there are some pretty basic ones that again, JK wrote herself, are being dismissed completely in these new movies.
Fantastic Beasts, where everything is rewritten and the backstories do/n’t matter.
Let’s start with Dumbledore. In the Crimes of Grindelwald, we’re introduced to a youthful looking, three pieced suit wearing Dumbledore in 1927. I can understand the need for “muggle clothing” in the regular world but we’re shown multiple scenes of him teaching in these suits later on. Why would he be wearing that kind of clothing inside Hogwarts when they are clearly all wearing wizarding robes in the books and original movies? The flashback in the Chamber of Secrets where he’s talking to Tom Riddle shows a long, white-bearded elderly Dumbledore in his wizarding robes in the 1940s, just 20 years later. What happened in those 20 years that could have changed him that drastically? Also, JK’s statement about the character being homosexual made AFTER the HP movies were made and then not utilized in the FB movies is mildly annoying for me. His blood pact with Grindelwald is the main reason he can’t fight him, right? It’s made very clear that he “can’t fight him” rather than “won’t fight him” because he’s made this pact. When given the chance to explain that he won’t fight because they were in love, instead all we’re given is “they were closer than brothers”. Well, alright then. I guess that would be a good enough reason to make a life ending pact with a person. Also, the fact that Credence is actually the brother of Albus Dumbledore. Where in any of the books is that a thing? The Dumbledore family relations are a huge plot point and literally everything about when Credence was born, when Albus’ mother dies, when his father goes to Askaban, none of it lines up. None of it makes sense.
Again, more details from the books, but Minerva McGonagall was born 1935. The Fantastic Beasts movies take place in 1926-1927 and according to her, she’s been teaching at Hogwarts for 50 years…How could she possibly be teaching at Hogwarts BEFORE she’s even alive? Not to mention, she would NEVER run screaming after a student, taking hundreds of points from them in the process. In the Goblet of Fire, she has it out with Mad Eye (secretly Barty Crouch Jr) for using transfiguration as a punishment on Malfoy. I can imagine the charm she removes from the girl’s mouth then quickly replaces falls under that same category.
Next, Nagini has no purpose & hardly any lines. She just stands around looking concerned the entire time. She literally is there because Voldemort’s snake needed a backstory for some reason. There’s also some accusation that she’s been made an Asian woman just for the sake of diversity in the films, but I’m not really sure how much I buy into that. As much as I’d like to, I’ve not done enough research to be able to expand on that idea further. They explain her to be a Maledictus, not just an animagus, which means she can transform into an animal as an animagus does but eventually she won’t be able to change back. This is confusing because A) she’s introduced to us in a wizard circus. Why would any witch or wizard find this fascinating, given the fact that magic is a thing? and B) in the Deathly Hallows book/movie she transforms into the body of Bathilda Bagshot, a magical historian and person. How is that possible if she’s a Maledictus?
Queenie’s character is also just all over the place. She loves Jacob, the muggle, but they can’t get married because of wizard laws. She likes what Grindelwald is puttin out because he’s preaching love and acceptance for wizards. One of her character traits is that she is a legilimens. She can literally read minds. Why in the world would she join Wizard Hitler if she is able to hear his thoughts? Also, if her motivation to join was because she wants to be with Jacob, why would she go into the ring of fire without him?
Also, Jacobs memories are just magically back because again, everything in the first movie doesn’t matter.
Which brings me to Magic. None of the magic used in this movie, again, follows any of the previous rules made in the wizarding world as we know it. Up until now, any spells being cast usually have words spoken along with it. Specifically the killing curse. We see multiple uses of this curse but the words “Avada Kedavra” and never spoken out loud. The dust that Newt blows around on the ground to see back in time, why would anyone have any reason to doubt anything Harry says in any of the first books/movies if this is a thing? Blood pacts are also a new type of magic that we don’t see any application of in the HP universe. We do have the unbreakable vow, so having both seems a little redundant. There are multiple uses of pollyjuice potion being used differently than we understand it and also, we have Grindelwald’s skull-hookah thing that shows images of WWII that is never explained.
Lastly, this series is called FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM, the only beasting we see in this movie is the deus ex machina-ing they do throughout entire plot, from the Nundu that saves the gang from the French Ministry of Magic Matagots to the Niffler stealing the blood pact container without anyone noticing until it’s convenient to have. Not once is it mentioned that Dumbledore needs it back to be able to try and break that pact but that’s how we’re going to end the movie.
But I guess since we’re 2 movies into a 5 film plan, we still have some time.
Thanks for reading & Drink more water