Tuesday, July 9, 2024

One Good Point - Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

So to set the stage here, I enjoyed the full first run of Harry Potter movies. I'm good with magic, and I felt like the Harry Potter stories did a good job of balancing fantastical whimsy and human emotions and experiences. They were a little more angsty than they needed to be at times, but that's the deal with movies about kids/teenagers, right?

Fantastic Beasts is a series *not* about kids or teenagers, but rather about (unsurprisingly) fantastic beasts, as well as a couple of, you know, humans. This second installment, The Crimes of Grindelwald, was okay, but it felt very much like an interlude movie. It advances a few relationships, and gives you more time with the titular villain, but was ultimately not very satisfying, adding questions and offering few answers.

One other note I have, and it's something that comes up oftentimes for me, and I've noticed bothers me in many, many stories these days. Without spoiling specifics, there are a couple of scenes in this movie in which swaths of folks are killed, and these deaths seem only to serve the purpose of convincing the viewer (and/or the protagonists) that their enemy is dangerous. This can be useful if done elegantly, but for the most part I find wanton murder to be a frustratingly heavy-handed device for storytelling. I know for certain that's the reason it took me a while to come around to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and it's still not my favorite aspect of the movie.

Anyways, Crimes of Grindelwald was fine. I don't think I would recommend unless you're a real Potter-head, but if that's the case you've already seen it anyways.

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