I’m going to start this off by saying I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan out there. Heck, I’m probably right between “I like magic” and “I really don’t have the time to read all those books or binge watch the entire series of movies,” but I somehow decided that watching the Fantastic Beasts series was a good idea (don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here slapping myself in the face). Regardless of the fact that I haven’t finished the Harry Potter series (because I have started) I started watching the Fantastic Beasts movies, which leads us right here to this wonderful review. So let’s dive in…
Let’s start off with my belief that you should probably have some basic knowledge of the Harry Potter series before going to watch the first movie much less the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I would say just know that Harry Potter (HP) takes place in the U.K. contrasting with the first Fantastic Beasts (FB) movie which took place in the United States and the second FB movie which takes place in London and Paris.
You should also know that FB 1 and FB 2 takes place before HP. I haven’t read the series, but we can probably expect that most of the moves, if not all, will pre-date the events that happened in HP. Also knowing who Dumbledore is would be pretty helpful. The quick rundown is that he is very powerful and in the HP series, VERY old, and is extremely fond of Harry Potter and Newt Scamander (main character in Fantastic Beasts). I have read a book and a half of the HP series and saw the first movie recently. In the movie, they briefly said the name Grindelwald, but didn’t go into details about him.
I have to say, I really love Newt. He is like an adorable puppy who doesn’t seem to know how to do as he is told. When he sees that something isn’t right, he does something about it. He cares for a bunch of rare and interesting creatures that through the series, not many other people seem to care about. And the fact that he keeps them all in his suitcase?? Brilliant and adorable all rolled up into one!
There were a few twists and turns, nothing too major throughout the movie. (I’m joking, go watch the movie) In the beginning, you learn something, but I suspect it’s something most viewers had already realized at the end of the first movie or begun to assume. I think the thing that really threw me for a loop was the ending. I just…I guess we will see how this plays out. Like I said, I haven’t even finished the Harry Potter series, much less started the Fantastic Beasts series so I have no idea what’s going to happen next. I remember sitting in the theater with my best friend at the end of the movie and turning to each other with baffled expressions on our faces. We immediately tried to figure out how what was said made sense and as we were walking out the theater, we continued spouting out countless theories as to how it was even possible. I guess we’ll have to see in the next movie!
All in all, I personally liked the movie. I know there is a lot of speculation going around about the casting (of Johnny Depp) and some of the scenes in the movie, but I don’t really have bad things to say. I mean I wasn’t exactly thrilled that Johnny Depp was in the movie, but my opinion (and this post) is about the movie, not who was cast. Also, I heard they made some changes in Fantastic Beasts 2 that altered the events in Harry Potter, so I can understand why you would be irritated…
On the other hand, I also know that some people want to hate on this movie simply because it’s by J.K. Rowling. Well, think of it this way, you could actually try giving it a chance because countless people put a lot of work into it (including the cast, crew, and director) and before you judge a movie, you should watch it first and not just make an assumption based off of what other people have said.
*I give this movie a 7/10*
Fantastic Beasts 2 is currently out on DVD. Go check it out!