Review: Crimes of Grindelwald combines nostalgia with new characters for a “fantastic” mix

Billy Dunkleman, Broadcast Manager

J.K. Rowling took me back to the wizarding world with her latest installment of the Harry Potter prequels “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” The sequel to “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” was exciting and nostalgic as I was pulled back into the fantasy that I have been watching for long as I can remember. It’s directed by David Yates and stars Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, and Zoë Kravitz.

Three months after Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) escaped from prison,  magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) is asked by his old professor Albus Dumbledore (Law) to locate a powerful young wizard named Credence Barebone (Miller). Scamander needs to get to him before Grindelwald convinces Barebone to join his dark following.

As a long time Harry Potter fan, I enjoyed seeing the movie and learning more about the wizarding world before Harry Potter showed up. I instantly felt enthusiasm when I saw the Warner Bros. logo and heard the classic Harry Potter theme. I felt chills run down my back when I saw the Hogwarts castle. I even spotted a few Easter eggs during the movie that referred back to the first eight films.

I was excited when I found out that Law would play a new and younger version of Dumbledore. Law is an incredible actor and showed himself as such in the film. However, I did not get a feeling of Dumbledore when I first saw Law in the movie. Maybe it was the fact that Michael Gambon had been playing the role for so many years, but I could not picture Law as a young Dumbledore throughout the movie.

Controversy came from Potter fans when Depp was chosen to play the role of Gellert Grindelwald as allegations of abuse surfaced against Depp prior to the casting. Despite these allegations, Depp executed his part almost perfectly. There was a different type of evil and manipulation that I saw in Grindelwald that I never saw in the Harry Potter series with Voldemort.

Unlike J.K. Rowling’s previous creations, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” does not have a book preceding it for many years. Rowling herself is writing the original screenplays as the new movies are being released. It is a new way that Rowling is approaching with these films and it appears she will do the same with the next three movies.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” was a fantastic film. The film delivered many aspects that reminded me of the previous installments developed by Rowling. It definitely had many moments that brought me back to my earlier childhood and I left the theater hungry for the next installment in the series which has been confirmed to be released in 2020.