Following on from my favourite series of all time is by no means an easy job. The Wizarding World prequel had to create the same sense of wonder, suspense and of course, magic.
Having previously seen a mixed response to the film, I honestly did not have the highest of hopes, however I was pleasantly surprised!
The one overarching criticism seemed to be the audience found the film hard to follow with too many plots. To this, I can somewhat agree with. If you are not a die-hard Harry Potter fan, you may have found the film complicated. For example, the film mentions issues and characters such as Nagini, Nicolas Flamel and the Lestrange family. If you are a casual viewer, you may have wondered why these points were so significant and what they mean in the broader picture.
I personally liked these aspects as I enjoyed how much depth the film went into to explore the more ‘nerdy’ points of the wizarding world.
I would particularly like to applaud the use of special effects, music and location throughout the film. If you are a Harry Potter fan you would like the tension and the numerous nods towards Dumbledore’s inevitable dual with Grindelwald. Talking of which…
I want to give specific praise to Jude Law’s performance as Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. For me, Law perfectly encapsulated the demeanour and mannerisms you would expect a younger Dumbledore to have, which I found very impressive. I just wish he was in the film more! Although Depp is seen as unnecessarily controversial in the media at the moment, I found his performance to be spot on. He truly portrayed the charisma and danger that you’d expect Grindelwald to have (having built up an army).
I also wanted to applaud the casting crew for hiring Jamie Campbell Bower, who played Grindelwald in the Harry Potter series which was a beautiful and professional way to continue the story and nod towards the originals.
The main flaw I found with the film was Tina and her plot. I didn’t particularly like Tina in the first Fantastic Beasts film simply because she seems very bland and one dimensional. I don’t feel it has anything to do with Katherine Waterston’s acting, but perhaps how she was written in the film. I wish the Tina plot in the sequel was reduced and time was directed elsewhere.
Overall, I think the film made a solid sequel, but I feel people will either like it or dislike it depending how you react to the twists and decisions throughout the film.