viernes, septiembre 23, 2022
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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review: Worst Potter Film

Anyone who grew up in the 2000s wanted to be a wizard. Drawing lightning scars on the forehead and waving magic wands, looking forward to the newest book in the world. Harry Potter TV shows were a cultural phenomenon like no other. Magic world was a constant adventure that we all wanted to get away from. So, once the film series ended in 2011, a low quality prequel series to capitalize on the success was inevitable. Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets this is the third film in fantastic beasts saga and features Magic world veteran David Yates in the director’s chair.

While Harry Potter Films will always hold a special place in my heart, this film is the lowest depth this enterprise has sunk to. Secrets of Dumbledore is a half-hearted attempt at a political thriller that makes bad creative decisions and fails to capture the (literal) magic of the original series. This film features the notable replacement of Johnny Depp for the role of Gellert Grindelwald, who stepped down from the role following negative publicity. After he dived into franchises like 007, star Warsand Marvel, Mads Mikkelsen joins Magic world for being the franchise’s villain to moderately effective results.

The film begins with the development of an almost romantic relationship between Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). Their relationship and Albus’ past is one of the most exciting aspects of the series, revealing their corrupted past as Aberforth Dumbledore (Richard Coyle) appears in the film to expand on their family history. Unfortunately, while it’s nice to return to places like Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and Three Broomsticks, the movie offers nothing more than brief nostalgia wrapped in a slightly ridiculous story and underdeveloped characters.

First two fantastic beasts the films proved that Rowling was a better writer than a screenwriter. This film brings back Steve Kloves, the author of the majority Harry Potter films as a co-author. Ideally this would be a step in the right direction, but even that can’t make the stuff work. The original films were filled with interesting characters, but in this film there are too many of them, and it is not clear what to do with each of them. Dumbledore and Grindelwald have an irresistible relationship, but the protagonist, Newt, has compassion and knowledge of creatures and no other compelling quality.

Fantastic Beasts: The Dumbledore Secrets Final Trailer

In this film, Newt’s relationship with his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) is no more explored than it already is. Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) always entertains like a Muggle out of his element, and as usual, he provides plenty of comic relief. The movie is about how he misses his girlfriend Queenie Goldstein (Allison Sudol), and while the movie gives her an arc, it doesn’t feel emotionally meaningful or well deserved. The writers seemed too wary of capitalizing on her fate in The Crimes of Grindelwald and instead made the bare minimum.

In addition, the film almost completely removes the character of Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), reducing her to a cameo and telling us little about her fun dynamic with Newt. She is replaced by Professor Lally Hicks (Jessica Williams), a spell teacher at Ilvermorny, who goes on an adventure. Unfortunately, after her funny introduction to the character, she verbally tells Jacob about the events of the first two films before becoming a one-dimensional one-shot character. Finally, Yusuf Kama (William Nadilan) has a total of one attractive quality in his character that is removed from his memory, causing him to suffer the same fate as Hicks.

We keep wasting the film on a lot of characters with Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). The Crimes of Grindelwald ending revealed that Credence was Aurelius Dumbledore, brother of Albus and Aberforth. Unfortunately, this movie reverts to that creative choice, keeping his Dumbledore status but mixing up the family tree in what looks a lot like a reimagining. With the film’s unbearably sleazy treatment of its characters, it’s almost a relief that Nagini’s character has disappeared from the series without a single mention of her whereabouts.

Somehow, we didn’t even get to the plot of the movie that surrounds the election fraud when Grindelwald tries to run for High Mugwamp. The stakes in the film seem remarkably low as the film follows a banal political premise devoid of the mystery and joy of the early parts of the franchise. Till Harry Potter the characters are always looking for answers to the mystery surrounding the greater whole, fantastic beasts the characters are all focused on their own storylines, leading to odd results when characters like Credence are left out for long periods of time.

In a story that doesn’t have a sense of urgency, the first exciting moment comes an hour into the movie, when we have a duel that Yates directs in a rather inventive way. Unfortunately, every installment in the series veers away from Newt and his magical creatures and focuses on an unremarkable incarnation of the story of Grindelwald and Dumbledore. It’s not a bad story, but Kloves and Rowling make a very arbitrary writing choice that doesn’t allow the story to reach its full potential. Also, the weak characters don’t support the same sluggish storytelling and have nothing to offer other than a sometimes sweet cutscene and a rather sneer-worthy ending.

Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets is a disappointing addition to an outdated franchise. Mikkelsen does a great job as Grindelwald, but the actors portraying the character change as often as Professor Harry in Defense Against the Dark Arts, it can be difficult to understand his portrayal after we’ve already seen Depp’s excellent stab at the character. It’s an emotionally powerless film with a disappointing and convenient ending. While the cinematography by George Richmond and the score by James Newton Howard are excellent, this is nothing short of an average chapter of quintology that people aren’t interested in watching anymore. If anything, this film proves how magical powers have fallen out of favor.

They should have called it «The Movie That Shouldn’t Be Named».

CHECK: 4/10

As explained in ComingSoon’s review rules, a score of 4 means Poor. The negatives outweigh the positives, making it hard to get through.


Disclosure: A critic attended a press screening of our Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets consideration.
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