‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ stuns audiences with puzzling plotlines, spectacular special effects


Photo by Elizabeth Busch

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald" arrived in theaters Nov. 16.

Since the release of the highly anticipated sequel of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” fans have continued to flock to theaters, hoping to experience yet another magical adventure into the world of Harry Potter. Unfortunately, while the movie’s visual effects soared, its plot was scattered and confusing, leaving even dedicated fans of J.K. Rowling bewildered.

Throughout the film, the scenes switch rapidly between the lives of Newt Scamander, Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein, Queenie Goldstein, Jacob Kowalski, Gellert Grindelwald and many other characters old and new to the series. This not only makes deciphering each character’s objectives and motives exhausting and confusing, but leaves viewers wishing that original characters such as Newt and Tina spent more time on screen.

Along with the perplexing plotline, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” also failed to provide satisfying answers to numerous plot holes that appeared from the first to second films. *SPOILERS* For example, at the end of the first “Fantastic Beasts” film, fans watched a group of Aurors seemingly disintegrate the Obscurial, Credence Barebone, with their magic. In the sequel, however, Newt discovers that Credence is alive and staying with a traveling circus in Europe. The movie offers no explanation for his miraculous survival of powerful spells cast by a group of the most talented witches and wizards in America. Additionally, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” offers viewers an unconvincing explanation for Jacob’s mysterious ability to remember the events of the first film despite losing his memory after being obliviated.

While the movie’s plotline was at times puzzling or questionable, its special effects were spot-on. The beasts of the film came to life on screen due to spectacular animation, especially during a scene in which Newt and Tina escape the French Ministry of Magic riding a Zouwu, one of the film’s newest creature additions. Scenes from the traveling circus also astound the audience, distracting them from the more disappointing elements of “The Crimes of Grindelwald.”

As an avid fan of anything involving the Harry Potter universe, I encourage other long-term enthusiasts to watch “The Crimes of Grindelwald” despite the film’s faults. However, if you are not a J.K. Rowling fan, I would suggest finding a different movie to enjoy this holiday weekend.