Well, we made it to Hogwarts this week. I will start this review by stating I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan. I’ve watched the films but I’m rather clueless when it comes to the names of spells or the creatures names. I do quote the line…”You’re a wizard Harry!!!” Randomly to my brother but he’s never amused. I’ll also say I went back and watched the last two entries because I wanted to see if the issues plaguing this film also hurt the others. They didn’t. So is this film as memorable as some of the others? We shall see.
Onto the film.
We open with Newt Scamander (Redmayne) helping a creature that looks like a dragon give birth. We learn it is called a Qilin (yes I looked this up) that’s a magical creature that can see into the soul of others and if they are good or not. This comes into play later. One of the qilins is taken but there were twins and Newt takes one.
We then see Grindelwald (Mikkelsen) meeting with Dumbledore (Law) meeting and it is explained they were in love in the past and went through a magical oath that won’t allow them to hurt each other. This raises the stakes. It should be noted that originally Johnny Depp played Grindelwald. He has been going through defamation lawsuits with his ex-wife and he was let go from this series. Poor decision. Both actors played Grindelwald well but completely different. I preferred Depp’s rendition.
Meanwhile, there will be a vote to decide who rules the wizarding world. Yes random and confusing. This is where the film struggles. Characters are added but there isn’t enough backstory to allow you to care or feel invested. The main cast works and I particularly enjoyed Dan Fogle as Jacob. He starts weak and depressed missing Queenie (his ex) and that drives him. I could have watched the entire film about those two.
Some positives. The CGI is well done and the fight scenes although few and far between are fun but the film is overly long and the addition of characters without proper introductions makes it hard to follow or care. I thought going back and watching the others would give this third film more gravitas but it did not. If you’re a fan of the series watch it. Or just quote the old films poorly like me…”You’re a wizard Harry!!!!” 2 and a half stars out of 5