McCann At The Movies: New ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Offering Is A Mess Of A Movie

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John McCann says ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ boasts dazzling effects but they can’t hide its many flaws…

After the 2016 release of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ proved that were was still life after the highly successful franchise of Harry Potter.

It showed there was much more untapped potential in this magical world of wizardry, so it was with a piqued interest that I made my weekly pilgrimage to Tralee Omniplex to hopefully sample more of the same qualities that made these fantastical adventures so appealing to the masses in the latest edition of the saga, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald’.

Penned by J.K. Rowling and with Potter stalwart David Yates in the directors’ chair, surely this was a home run in waiting with Eddie Redmayne and crew poised to amaze yet again!

Continued below…


Unfortunately, in ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald’ this is not the case, as what unfolded before my eyes was an unmitigated mess of a movie, just about rescued by an array of stunning visual effects garnered with the sole purpose to distract us from the shambles of a tale playing out on the big screen.


In this latest saga, in a gallant effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who although agrees to help, is unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.

Lines are drawn as both love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

Casting Johnny Depp as the chief miscreant in recent times, almost guarantees that the anti-hero is packed with panto villain qualities from an actor that has been dialling it in so long at this stage that his fingers must ache!

However, Depp is not even the worst thing about this feature. A muddled confusing script seems to be more concerned with packing as much as it can into an overlong 135 minute running time rather than any relevant character development, which means that the audience doesn’t gather any empathy for any of the main players and the movie itself only serves as a filler for the inevitable next chapter in a saga that has kind of lost its way.

There are crumbs of comfort for fans of the franchise though. The special effects are pretty special with fantastic beasts and high octane action scenes at the forefront of all that’s good in the film visually.

The last quarter does see a marked pick up in pace too, with the plot finally getting out of second gear and the movie is all the better for it!

Overall though, with a lot of top quality productions either on show or making their way to an Omniplex near you soon, despite its’ dazzling effects and strong ending, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald’ may be one strictly for fans only!


• For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

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