Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore review:

It’s been quite a while since I dipped back into the Harry Potter world. Mainly because Covid delayed the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. To be honest, I can’t even remember the last installment in this franchise. I do remember being wowed by the effects and under-wowed by the story. This time round, it’s a bit of the opposite.

The best thing about Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore are the actors. Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen are SUPERB. The chemistry they have works so damn well that I can almost excuse Warner Bros. for releasing Johnny Depp. But I am quite biased with that. I love Mads, he’s frigging brilliant. They make you believe they were once lovers without it being shoved in your face.

Moar!

This is the 3rd installment with another 2 planned, and I can’t quite get to the point where I think we need another 2. This movie stumbled around, bouncing off Trumpian politics with Nazi costumes to the point where I was bored. The middle definitely had pacing issues.

There are a few exciting action beats, namely an escape from a prison that will have you laughing your head off. But there are not many. Thinking about it now, I think there were 4 action bits, and an anti-climatic ending. I did like the fact that they spent more time on the characters but it would seem they did this at the expense of some of the CGI work. It was pretty terrible in certain scenes, and then suddenly really bloody good in others.

It’s also rather violent. No, really. For example, some naughty wizards kill a mother who has just given birth! No no, not a human mother, a bird monster thing. There’s quite a lot of stuff that is quite disturbing for a younger crowd.

Fight me!

One fight scene between Dumbledore and Credence Barebone (the now disgraced Ezra Miller) was superb. It reminded me of Nolan’s Inception, or a scene from Dr Strange. Very cool. But for every cool, there was 2 or 3 very meh which made the runtime of 2 1/2 feel very long. Thank goodness for the red wine I smuggled in.

I think that diehard fans will enjoy this. There are certainly lots of nods to characters and bits of lore that will make them smile. I liked the fact they had some of the future professors of Hogwarts make an appearance; all young and spritely. Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski brought some much needed mirth to an otherwise very solemn affair, too.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore benefits from two powerhouse actors. They really pull up the movie and make it tolerable. I did like the fact that it’s also rather damn violent! People get munched, pretty creatures get green-zapped and murdered without even a stutter. It just isn’t enough to make this anything more than Warner Bros. cashing in on an IP that should be shelved, next to its books.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore a tepid…

6/10

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All the series and all the movies couldn't put society back together again.