Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them was the perfect prequel to author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe.
The 2016 film was a wonderful, whimsical, and fantastical look into Rowling’s beautiful mind, and an unforgettable cinematic experience.
Given the money it brought in, it was no wonder a sequel was ordered, with Johnny Depp replacing Colin Farrell as the villain.
And yet, Depp — even though his casting was swirling in controversy — was the only truly magical part of this sequel.
Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law & company are all back and playing their parts as they are expected, but the film has lost the originality and lustre of the original.
Depp as Grindelwald is a revelation, and an ice-cold villain we somehow sympathize with nonetheless.
I’m sad to report it, but the scenes without him seem bland by comparison, and save for an exquisite, dark opening and a shocking ending, the audience is stuck with a plodding middle.
It’s a disappointing film in the franchise, and here’s to hoping director David Yates and writer Rowling bring some of their mastery back for the next installment.