The second installment in the ‘Harry Potter’ prequel series heads somewhere old and somewhere new.
We’re still trying to figure out our emotions in regards to these Harry Potter prequels. Daniel Radcliffe and company were shepherds to our youth, steering a precious franchise with confidence. They had the benefit of source material, where as, these new ventures feel dangerously free to roam into the objectionable.
The audience has been with director David Yates‘s vision of the universe since The Order of the Phoenix and it looks like we’re trapped with it until the year 2024. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them took us back to the early days of the Wizarding World before Voldemort rose to power and The Boy Who Lived challenged his villainy. It introduced new heroes and new villains. Characters we’ve seen referenced in J.K. Rowling’s work, but never properly brought to life before. That film’s result was a queasy mixture of pros and cons, and there’s a fear that The Crimes of Grindelwald will be more of the same.
Watch the first teaser trailer for the sequel:
We’re back in Hogwarts! It’s hard to stave off the goosebumps seeing dreamy Jude Law step into the duds of Dumbledore. That smile, that twinkle. The actor certainly has the Michael Gambon spark. His casting alone is enough to guarantee my ticket purchase.
The plot appears to be one of cat and mouse. Although who is predator and who is prey might switch back and forth throughout the film. The Department of Magical Law Enforcement steps into the professor’s office to grill Dumbledore on the whereabouts of Eddie Redmayne’s awkwardly heroic, Newt Scamander. After the events of the previous film, Dumbledore’s former student has fled to Paris in pursuit of answers.
We see just a glimpse of Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald. There is a shot of the villain on trial, and we get a good scraggly grimace later on as he’s hauled away at wand point in the back of a dragon drawn carriage. An ominous narration from Law indicates that he’s helpless against the pureblood fanatic, “I can’t move against Grindelwald. It has to be you.” The reasons behind that stalemate may or may not relate to a former romantic relationship.
Ezra Miller gets a moment as the violent Credence Barebone, but there is no indication as to how he survived the events of the original film. Justice League sponsorship is a helluva recommendation. However his resurrection is explained, his temper and disgust for Scamander’s creatures seems fully intact.
That wildlife remains a focus for the franchise. Our favorite Bowtruckle scurries across the floor, and Dan Fogler is given a feathered friend to pester. The only critter I care about is the Niffler. Where did that guy run off to? Counting his gold ingots, no doubt.