Fantastic Isn’t the Word I’d Use

By Cara Young

Disappointment blooms in the hearts of Hufflepuffs and Slytherins alike as the Fantastic Beast sequel hit theaters with an execution nearly devoid of the light we have come to expect from the Harry Potter series.

Despite the past success of writer-director pairing, J.K. Rowling and David Yates seem to have hit a wall with creating a franchise out of Newt Scamander and his fantastic beast. While “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” left fans hungry for more, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” provided more of a palate cleanser than the second course expected. Even the tagline reading, “The fate of one will change the future of all.” seems a bit derivative for the fans worshiping at the foot of the pedestal J.K. Rowling has been set. Could it be that we have come to expect too much from the mind we tiered with Anne Rice and Agatha Christie?

The time’s coming… when you’re gonna have to pick a side”- Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Throughout the two hours and fourteen-minute runtime, multiple characters tell magizoologist Newt Scamander, portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, that the magical world’s peaceful era is coming to an end and he must choose one of the sides amassing numbers. Other than this cliched storyline the film offers little else in the way of explanation toward events or their order in reference to the overall plot. Until the poorly placed exposition scenes at the start of the film’s less than satisfying CGI heavy climax battle, it was as if the plot depends on one famous name after another to move the plot along.

“I hate Paris.”- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Unsurprisingly, one of the aspects attributed to the success of “Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them” was Johnny Depp’s absence for the majority of the film’s duration, something which viewers such as myself hoped to see in the following installments of the series. At the start of the “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” it was stated that Gellert Grindelwald’s tongue was cut out due to an unforeseen seduction of several guards to his cause.

However, this was not the case less than five minutes later and even though Depp’s speaking roles where scant until the obligatory “evil villain monologue” his delivery overall was under pronounced and uncoordinated. This coupled with the now awkward, sorrowful and passionless attempts at romance between main and supporting characters alike really left audiences thirsty for some comedic relief, but Dan Folger’s Jacob Kowalski can only go so far.

“Jacob Kowalski: Are you going somewhere?
Newt Scamander: No. We’re going somewhere.
Jacob Kowalski: Genius!” Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

One of the biggest missteps driving fan dissolution was the complete and utter lack of any mid or post credit scene. The innovation popularized by Marvel and adopted by several other big-screen hits such as 2018’s film adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Halloween”, “The Meg” and “Kong Skull Island”. These scenes not only provide the audience with a brief teaser to reignite waning interest but faith in the storyboarding skills in the writing and directorial team for future endeavors. Lacking this scene may not sink the new franchise but it has most definitely hindered its growth.

“You’re too good, Newt. You never met a monster you couldn’t love.”Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

With everything else in mind and memory of a bubble now burst firmly in tow I must say however that this is not a new phenomenon in the creation of a gambit. Think back to “Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers”, “X-Men: Apocalypse”, “Jaws: The Revenge” and even goliath of our time “Avengers: Age of Ultron” have suffered their casualties in the pitfall of poor entertainment that we know as the sequel.

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