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Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore

A film that’s become somewhat controversial or at least whether we will see the remaining 2 sequels (J.K. Rowling originally envisioned the Potter prequels as a 5 part series). The Harry Potter ‘Wizarding World’, once consider a jewel in the cinematic crown has recently come under the fire due to comments from Rowling, Johnny Depps removal from the series and Ezra Miller’s ongoing issues. That coupled with The Secrets Of Dumbledore being a real slog doesn’t exactly add up to world beating box offfice for the studio.

Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards and witches. They soon encounter an array of old and new beasts as they clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers.

Following from the first two films which are noticeably lacking the pizazz, charm and excitement of the Potter movies, Fantastic Beasts manages to meander on with no real direction as to where it will end up or develop the story to wherever it’s expected to end up (Presumably with the ‘epic’ battle of Grindlewald vs. Dumbledore for the Elder Wand or the start point of Harry Potter with the death of his parents, although we can’t imagine Warner Bros. Would be brave enough to end at that point). It simply doesn’t entertain. There’s a great climatic final act that’s reminiscent of the bowler hat escape from The Thomas Crown Affair, but that’s about it.

Eddie Redmayne leads the tired proceedings with a cast that are simply there for no apparent reason other than to pad out Redmayne’s Newt Scamander’s exploits, because they serve no purpose, other than getting into trouble that Newt has to rescue them from. It’s all very rinse and repeat, plus some of the exposition isn’t very well explained away,

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Mads Mikkleson’s addition to the role of Grindlewald is one of the few high points of the film alongside Dan Fogler’s Jacob, who remains the heart of the series. Talking of Fogler, Fantastic Beasts feels like a later episode of The Walking Dead at times, where the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ are hitherto unseen and turn up for a few moments, feeling like they’ve been shoehorned in. Just like in The Walking Dead, a series about the Zombie Apocalypse which features very few zombies (Or Walkers as they are known) in it other than once an episode to kill a couple to remind you that’s what the series was built on. Jude Law as Dumbledore however manages to steady the ship and at times, he even manages to completely nail the Michael Gambon impression too.

David Yates is no stranger to the Wizarding World having been the director of the series since Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix back in 2007. However, whether its the scripts he’s working with (The Secrets Of Dumbledore is the first film to have J.K. Rowling with a co-scripting credit) or just the series has run out of ideas, the diminishing returns of the films are starting to reflect on Yates himself.

So whether we get parts 4 and 5 is currently up in the air as the studio awaits to see how it fares at the box office. However on the balance of the first three, we certainly wouldn’t be at all bothered if the final two parts never see the light of day on the evidence of these films so far, it wouldn’t be a great shame if they never did.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore is in cinemas Nationwide now

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