Crimes of Grindelwald: A Review


Crimes of Grindelwald (pronounced grin-del-vald) is the latest installment in JK Rowling’s wizarding world.  It continues where Fantastic Beasts (that appeared in 2016) left off.  As many reviewers can tell you, it is difficult to write a review without spoilers but I will do my best to make as little spoilers as I can. 😀

The story begins with the audience seeing Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) imprisoned within the Ministry of Magic is America.  We learn that he has been there for several months and is to be transferred to the London Ministry of Magic.  We then get to witness his eventual escape which establishes the conflict in the story.

The story then shifts to Newt Scamander (the hero of our story, played by Eddie Redmayne) in the Ministry of Magic in London.  It is here we are also introduced to two new characters to the story: Lita LeStrange and Theseus Scamander (he’s a hugger), Newt’s brother. These two new characters play an important part in the story.

Theseus Scamander, Lita LeStrange, and Newt Scamander; photo credit to eonline.com

Theseus Scamander, Lita LeStrange, and Newt Scamander; photo credit to eonline.com

We are also reunited with characters from the first Fantastic Beasts movie.  Keep in mind that Fantastic Beasts was set in New York and, therefore, the primary characters are American.

Before watching the movie my daughter and I were speculating if George’s presence in this movie means his memory will be erased every time.  And Queenie is not an Auror so how does she and George get involved in this installment of the story?

Tina (American auror), Newt, George (American muggle), and Queenie (American witch) photo from vitalthrills.com

Tina (American auror), Newt, George (American muggle), and Queenie (American witch) photo from vitalthrills.com

We also discover that Credence is still alive and that he meets Nagini (who appeared in the Harry Potter series) in her human form.  At the end of Fantastic Beasts, it was implied that Credence died, that his special ability as on Obscurial.  I was glad to know for sure there was more to his story than that.

Nagini (played by Claudia Kim) and Credence (played by Ezra Miller) photo from eonline.com

Nagini (played by Claudia Kim) and Credence (played by Ezra Miller) photo from eonline.com

Nagini’s participation in the story is more of a supporting role while Credence served as the person the story revolves around.

By the way, before this movie, I didn’t know that Nagini was a person, not a regular large snake! We only learned this in this movie (not a spoiler) which makes me think that she remained a snake much as Peter Pettigrew remained a rat (called Scabbers by the Weasley family) to hide in plain sight.  Or maybe she got stuck in that form?  I guess we will find out eventually.

In the story, Credence is on a quest to find out who he was.  The importance of his character in the story is hinted at several times but does not fully reveal itself until you reach the end of the movie.  We know he is a powerful wizard because he was an Obscurial (this was mentioned in Fantastic Beasts 1), so we presume he came from a powerful wizarding family, but which one?  What is your guess?

What are the story plots of The Crimes of Grindelwald

Credence searches for his identity

  • Who is he?
  • Where did he come from?
  • How did he end up being adopted and raised in America by that wicked woman?

Grindelwald’s mission and/or motivation

  • Why is he such a big baddie in the stories?
  • What did he really do?
  • How is able to get so many followers?
  • Why does he kill indiscriminately?

Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindelwald

  • Since Albus Dumbledore is supposedly the only one who can defeat Grindelwald why doesn’t he just do it?
  • Where Dumbledore and Grindelwald involved in some way?

Newt’s involvement

  • Does he work for Dumbledore?
  • Is he very powerful magically or is he powerful because of all the knowledge he has?
  • Why does he have a travel ban?
  • How does he end up working with

My thoughts as I watched the movie

New creatures, yey!  Some lovable, some scary, and some are both.  We’ve met some of them in the original movie series (Harry Potter).

Niffler

Niffler

Old creatures, we loved from the first movie.  I have to give Niffler a special mention because … well, he is just so darned cute!  He’s an incorrigible thief (reminds me of Tasselhoff Burfoot) but it is hard to take offense since he does not do it out of malice.  Tee hee, and the babies, aww, the babies!

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald – Reading other reviews online, some loved it and some hated it.  I don’t care what anyone else says, I think he did great!  The way he flicks his wand you’d think he’d been doing it all his life. 🙂

Jude Law as Dumbledore, perfect!  I thought he nailed the part.  I also thought it was good to see Professor Dumbledore in his youth.  He displayed the gentleness, the sense of humor, and the power we have come to expect from watching and reading Harry Potter.

Possible spoilers:

  • Lita LeStrange is engaged to Theseus, but why do I get the feeling that it is Newt she is in love with?
  • When faced with a Bogart:
    • Lita’s greatest fear is a white sheet?  Is it a ghost?
    • Newt’s greatest fear is inanimate?
The cast of Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The cast of Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Gridelwald is fast-paced and exciting and, at times, can leave the audience breathless.  It is a must-watch for Potterheads everywhere and family-movie kids of all ages can enjoy.

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