The second movie in the Fantastic Beast series in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World will not satisfy your Harry Potter fix. "Fantastic Beasts" was not fantastic, but merely mediocre at best. This installment in the prequel of the beloved wizarding series will do nothing but leave you at the edge of the cliff right as the story finally begins to unfold.
The movie begins with an intense jail scene in New York set in the early 1900’s. An unknown silent character named Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp, sits there until he is broken out. This whole part was unclear, and the character was not defined until much later, which was confusing at first. This quickly escalates to a short fight scene in the air. I honestly do not even know what happened because it was overstimulating.
The movie leveled out once the beloved repeat character, Newt Scamander, took the screen. Unfortunately, the best characters in the entire movie did not even have speaking parts. The little creatures stole the show for me with their quirky and cute personalities. Everyone is a sucker for a cute animal, fictional or real.
The gang heads to Hogwarts, which caused an uproar of happiness in the audience. Little Harry Potter references are sprinkled throughout the movie, which really is the only reason I kept paying attention. We are introduced to young Albus Dumbledore, played by Jude Law. Without even trying, Dumbledore became the lead role. His cunning and wit put him in front of the main characters, and I am not mad about it.
The overall graphics and animation were impressive. I am not a snob in this department, but you can always tell a well-budgeted movie when you see one, and this movie fits in this category. The movie time, however, was a little much.
A two-hour run time is a stretch for any movie, but for a subpar second installment, this was not the correct choice. I got distracted during the movie because it just kept dragging on. There were multiple unnecessary parts, and several characters could have been cut. Rotten Tomatoes scored this movie with a 46 percent. I feel like the rating may be a little harsh, but not far from the truth.
Spoiler alert: it ends with a cliff hanger, so if you do not like movies leaving you hanging, then save your money and skip seeing this one. If you are bored, or have loads of time to blow on an overpriced movie ticket, then I recommend seeing this in the theater. If you are a normal human being, just wait until it comes out on Redbox and watch it in the comfort of your own home.
Overall, the movie was not necessarily bad, but it was not a cinematic hit. I would compare it to lukewarm coffee—not great, but it will get the job done.