3.5/10 I noted in my “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” review how audiences were beginning to wake up to movies/movie franchises that were made distinctly as cash grabs due to their name recognition, regardless of quality. Luckily, this threequel has hit an all-time low for the franchise in terms of box office grosses, putting the future of the series into limbo. Once planned for a five film series, there is a good chance that this will be the last movie, unless they really cut the budget down moving forward. If this is the last movie in the franchise, that would be fine with me since this series continues to churn out duds. Before I get into specifics, I will commend the movie for a couple of reasons. With its big budget, you can see where the money was spent as the movie at least looks incredible. The special effects, production design and costume design are as fantastic as the title’s beasts so at least this is easy on the eyes. The performances are well done with Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald doing a fine job replacing Johnny Depp. While not very memorable, the score does do a fine job of setting the mood/tone of the movie. Finally, the direction from David Yates has some stylistic flourishes to it which adds an extra layer to the movie. While his direction has grown over the years, I just wish he could direct a movie with a decent script. Which brings me to all of the problems with the movie, most of which revolve around the script/plot. A lot of the plot revolves around an election in the wizarding world. As the “Star Wars” prequels proved, inserting politics too heavily into your plot makes for some boring results. There is barely any action in the first hour of the movie, which paired with the long running time, makes the movie drag a bit. The way the wizards are elected revolves around a deer like animal (a fantastic beast, if you will) that has multiple powers, including being able to tell if someone’s heart is pure or not. The creature bows before people with pure hearts and whoever that person is generally is the one who gets elected. Despite Grindelwald having his name cleared of previous wrongdoings, the fact that he would be a major player in the election is totally unbelievable. Also, what happens if the deer creature isn’t born near the election? Are they born on election years? How many of them are there? The more you think about the election subplot, the less sense it makes. Near the end during the election scene, some ash gets rubbed onto Grindelwald’s face but when the scene cuts away and then back to him, the ash is gone, which is a lazy editing error. They at least could have shown him wiping the ash off of his face. Speaking of Grindelwald, there is zero explanation given as to why he is a completely different looking person from the last movie. Since Grindelwald can change his appearance (hence why Colin Farrell played him in the first movie), it would have been easy to include a throwaway line about him once again doing so, but for reasons unexplained, they never address it. Katherine Waterston played Tina and was the second biggest role in the first two movies only behind Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. Yet she is only in about five minutes of this movie, which was a shame because not only is she one of the best characters in this franchise with Waterston doing a wonderful job playing her but the excuse that this movie uses to not include her (she is busy at work due to a promotion) is completely nonsensical considering that her sister is in danger so she would definitely be along for the adventure to help out and try to save her. Moments of attempted humor fall flat, with the worst example being a scene that has Newt doing a crab walk so he doesn’t get attacked and while it tried to be comedic relief, it just came across as cringe worthy and stupid. There are many more problems in the movie but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Since Warner Brothers seems to be taking a “quantity over quality” approach to their Harry Potter franchise, I won’t feel bad in the slightest if this is the last movie and we don’t get the final two installments to showcase more of J.K. Rowling’s lack of talent when it comes to screenwriting. These secrets of Dumbledore should have never been told.

#CantTeachAnOldBeastNewtTricks / #DramaQueenie / #StarkRavingMads / #ForQueenie&Country / #FantasticBeastWars / #TheMuggleIsReal

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