“Fantastic Beasts” is Back — Review

The “Fantastic Beasts” series is back with their second installment, “Crimes of Grindelwald.”


Grace Clay, Editor

You should know this by now, but spoiler alert. If you want to watch the movie without spoilers, leave now or forever hold your peace. Also, this might be really hard to follow if you are not familiar with some of the terminology used in the “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” universe.

Earlier this week, the second installment in the “Fantastic Beasts” movie series was released–“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” To understand what went on in the second film, you must first know what went on in the first movie. In the first movie (called “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), we follow a nerdy animal lover named Newt Scamander–played by the adorable Eddie Redmayne–through an adventure in the United States where he was looking for an Obscurial named Credence Barebone–played by the flamboyant Ezra Miller. During the first movie, Scamander was chasing Barebone, trying to keep him safe as others were attempting to kill or arrest him. Then, as they were searching, because of his Obscurial-ness, he destroyed part of the city. 

Now that you know the background, let’s dig into the second one. It starts out with Gellert Grindelwald–played by the not-so-late, not-so-great Johnny Depp–attacking a carriage and taking something shiny. Then, we go to Newt Scamander and to the Ministry of Magic and him attempting to gain a license to travel the world. Newt’s brother Theseus–played by the squinty-eyed Callum Turner–is one of the people in the trying him. The group tries to make Newt take a government job to be able to travel the world. Newt’s nemesis enters the room causing Newt to leave, inadvertently giving this other guy the job; although it seemed like a very bad idea considering the ominous music and underlying tone of the scene.

After that whole ordeal, Theseus follows his brother into the Ministry to ask what’s wrong and then pitches the idea of him joining the Ministry. To which Newt basically says “go away” and leaves. Then, Newt illegally goes to France to look for Tina, his (ex?)-girlfriend. Before he leaves, Jacob and Queenie–played by Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol respectively–show up. They go to Paris together and stay at Newt’s friend’s house. This friend of Newt’s is Nicolaus Flammel, the infamous alchemist mentioned in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’ Stone.” Flammel is mentioned in said book as he created the stone. Using one of Newt’s pet’s powers, they figure out where Tina is and talk to some French dude named Josef–kidnapper of Tina, and in turn, Jacob and Newt.

Meanwhile, Credence is stuck in a circus with a girl named Nagini (I think it’s safe to assume she becomes Voldemort’s devoted snake) and this girl can turn into a serpent. They escape and he finds his supposed birth mom, just before a Grindelwald follower kills her while trying to kill him. Then, his Obscurial-ness comes out again and he tries to kill the guy, but only to fail.

When the three heroes escape (they always do), they take the unconscious Josef back to Flammel’s place to question him. Newt figures out he has some sort of parasite that he uses tweezers to remove from Josef’s eyeball. They hear–somehow, I’m not entirely sure how–that there’s some sort of “fantastic beast” on the loose and so is Credence. They don’t get to him fast enough, and they end up in a mausoleum with Credence. I think, all I know for sure is it’s a LeStrange thing and there’s a weird family tree. Here, they find the entrance to one of Grindelwald’s rallies and everyone somehow ends up there, including Ministry of Magic workers.

At this rally, there are hundreds of people gathered around to listen to this guy talk about how witches and wizards should be able to show their true selves–their magic–around Muggles. He almost immediately calls out the Aurors, which are Ministry of Magic workers that are basically magic FBI Agents. Gindelwald starts talking about attacking them, and one person makes it seem like they are going to actually attack an Auror. This starts a riot.

This riot is what starts the beginning of the final showdown of the movie. It’s a very emotional moment that I think you should experience for yourself.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the movie and I thought it was well made. I definitely think you should watch it if you have seen the first one and appreciated it.