- Score: 2/5
- Genre: 3/5
- Did I enjoy it: Moderately.
- Did it move me: Teensy bit.
- Rewatch: Maybe once, after the trilogy (pentology?) is complete.
- Art/Pop: Harry Potter only does pop.
- Noteworthy/Significant: Nothing.
Like its predecessor, The Crimes of Grindelwald relies too much on special effects for drama and engagement. The character development and tension is in many ways worse than the first film, with the slight evolution in the characters and relationships feeling like a tacked-on afterthought to the set-piece wizarding action sequences that themselves feel like they are floating in space unconnected to anything, including the movie they are in.
That said, Eddie Redmayne manages to make the main character relatively interesting and sympathetic, even if he is somewhat one-note. But then, one-note pretty well describes the whole shebang. Unexpectedly, I actually liked Johnny Depp’s performance, which mostly avoids the cackling Mr. Burns bad guy stereotype as acted, even though they capture the look.
It would have been interesting if Rowling had actually fully embraced the grayness and tried to forge a Grindelwald with a real sales pitch that might even have viewers second-guessing their allegiances. Such could have created a textured and complex plot and gripping character interactions. She seems to hesitantly dabble with this by making the top British magic cop an authoritarian hard ass, and giving Grindelwald a single sort-of interesting pitch at the end on how they are saving the world from itself, but the actions that follow immediately reveal it (and him) as disingenuous: it seems she is unwilling or unable to commit to something subtler than a world of white and black cowboy hats.
Review Date: 07/15/2019