Ben Oliver
Fantastic
Fantastic Beasts: The Grimes of Grindelwald
"It's time for him to answer for his crimes in Europe."
November 24 2018

A sequel to the 2016 Harry Potter spinoff, The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up the story about six months after the events of the first film.

Two chapters in (of a planned five!) and this is already an unholy mess. Where the last film was a heartless technical exercise, this one is the same but with a dreary, nonsensical plot to go along with it.

Johnny Depp plays a bad guy who is sort of like Hitler; he talks people into following him by feeding off of their fears. However, he takes a hit off a skull bong and conjures up images of the real Holocaust and real Hitler. All the clumsy symbolism winds up with the implication that they could avoid the war if they follow Grindelwald.

I’m jumping too far ahead though; these events are preceded by two hours of pointless set up. Yates tediously trots us around CG Paris for bloody ages, often losing sight of the story (because it can wait until the next film, right?).

Also, you’d better brush up on your Harry Potter knowledge, because they’ve decided to lean very hard on that franchise to make this one work. The last film name checked Albus Dumbledore and Hogwarts, this one actually stars Dumbledore and goes to Hogwarts. This is starting to feel like an extension of the Harry Potter story rather than a spinoff. It’s definitely not about fantastic beasts.

Boring, charmless, incoherent and downright lazy. A sorry cash grab of a franchise.