If there was ever a reason that ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ did not need a sequel, I would suggest looking no further than ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’, which has intentions to give characters more depth, yet cannot seem to find a comprehensible story to go along with it. It was clear that the real reason this sequel was made with the first film being extremely successful (I mean, fans of ‘Harry Potter’ were not ready to leave J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World), yet with the way ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ was received, it is easy to see why it did not do as well. Many people blame the fact that Johnny Depp was cast as the titular villain despite his real-life controversies, or there it just was not as good. Yet, I believe that it had to do with the fact that the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ worked so well as a stand-alone film that nothing could top it.
Even with the addition of Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore, there really is not much to its script, save for moments at Hogwarts and a captivating climax near the end. The story is especially out-of-focus, centering on Newt Scamander’s (Eddie Redmayne) journey to locate Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who could be the key to a plot involving Grindelwald setting out to wreak havoc on the world. Believe me when I say that it takes a while to get going as a movie.
There are some people who will walk into this movie and going along with the characters because of how well-beloved they are, while there are also people who are going to be disappointed and left wanting more. All I say is that if a third ‘Fantastic Beasts’ comes around, that it ties loose ends and becomes more exciting.