Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)
May 31, 2022 5:44 AM - Subscribe

Albus Dumbledore assigns Newt and his allies with a mission related to the rising power of Grindelwald.

Rotten Tomatoes: 47 / 83%

Now streaming on HBO Max in the United States.
posted by Kyol (11 comments total)
Even separating the art from the artists, this was still sort of an incoherent mess. I guess Katherine Waterston had better things to do, or was that Rowling just having to fill out the Pottermore induced character obligations that sounded more interesting as wiki articles but didn't do an actual literary object any favors?

I'm almost ok with the wizarding world going from "Grindlewald is a wanted criminal" to "he's a candidate for high hoopity hoop" and the public loving him because, well, see the actual world? And I actually sort of honestly expected the end of the movie would end up differently, that Grindlewald's ploy would work, give a nice Empire Strikes Back beat to the series, and here's how Albus and Newt would bring the wizarding world back to its senses?

That said, the good parts: Mads was a much better choice for Grindlewald. Johnny felt like a weird casting choice for Crimes, while Mads can project the right level of snooty malice? And the movie was very pretty, with some fairly comprehensible wizarding battles and sets. But the plot depended on our protagonists being unpredictable to foil Grindlewald's divination, which ended up making it kind of meandering and pointless feeling?

And considering it's a magical beasts movie, I'm not sure that Newt really brought anything special to the team? Like ok ok he pokemon'd the True Goodness Seeking Magical creature and made a speech at the end, but there was very little magizoology going on here.
posted by Kyol at 6:01 AM on May 31, 2022

I guess Katherine Waterston had better things to do

She took a stand against Rowling's TERF-y garbage and then her character vanished from the movie.
posted by haileris23 at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2022 [9 favorites]

Oh, that's great then. I mean, I figured it was something along those lines, but they barely even tried to justify it in the film, she was just uh busy washing her hair so uh here's this new character we're sure you'll love?
posted by Kyol at 9:02 AM on May 31, 2022

I broke my Rowling embargo to hate watch this when it showed up on HBO and I think I entered some kind of a fugue state, because HBO is showing that I watched half of it but I can't remember a single thing that happened after the opening scene.

It was all just so...empty? Scenes take place one after the other with no coherence or characterization and for what? As some kind of commercial sorcery to allow the shambling corpse of the Harry Potter IP another year of half-life filling Warner Bros' pockets with gold, I guess?
posted by wakannai at 1:05 PM on May 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm sad that JKR ruined Harry Potter for me because Jude Law as Young Hot Gay Dumbledore is something I would have paid real actual money to watch in the old days.
posted by potrzebie at 1:24 PM on May 31, 2022 [13 favorites]

Yeah, wakannai - there were a bunch of scenes like 20 minutes after someone is introduced where I realized "oh. right. that's why they're here, then." I mean, it's wild how often I click on an actor to see if they were in the previous movies and they were! but they made so little impression in those movies that if it wasn't Newt, Dumbledore, Credence, Kowalski, Grindelwald, or the Goldstein Sisters, they may as well not exist? But instead it's like "hey kids, remember the Lestrange family tree?!? How about their ... uncle? cousin? Leta's half-brother. You know, the female lead from the last movie. The dead female lead from the last movie."

Oof. And some of it was inevitable because the whole point of a lot of what was going on was to confound Grindelwald's divination, sure, but it seems like better writing or direction could have cleared it up.

My wife noted that it's sort of a shame the series used up Ezra Miller in this, he would've made a good Young Snape for a Lily / James / Snape / etc prequel series. On the other hand, given some of the clouds swirling over him at the moment and where his character seems to have ended up in Secrets of Dumbledore, maybe that's for the best?
posted by Kyol at 2:30 PM on May 31, 2022

(I mean, if you could make that not sketchy and weird and etc. Given the writing staff on hand, ehhhhh probably not.)
posted by Kyol at 2:31 PM on May 31, 2022

We watched this last night. It felt very disjointed and dismal. The lighting and the abundance of grey tones were very depressing. Potter movies were very colorful, as was the first Fantastic Beasts film but this was like all the life had been drained out of it. Even the scenes in Hogwarts seemed dull.

The actors playing the Goldstein girls seemed like different actresses entirely. I had to double check IMDB to see if there was a casting change. In fact, the only actors that appeared to be fully invested were Jude Law, Dan Fogler, and of course the marvelous Mads Mikkelson.

I can see that if Warners pulls the plug on this franchise, enough of the story is tied up to satisfy most. Right now anything involving JKR is very tainted, especially among the age group that grew up with the Wizarding World. If Warners moves forward, it will be with something entirely different.
posted by Ber at 9:10 AM on June 1, 2022

I watched part of this (without giving JKR money) because curious about YHGD and wandered out halfway through. It was just so lifeless, like the parade of spirits in the underworld in the Odyssey without any blood to drink. Mikkelson was good casting (I can never understand roles he gets where he's not skincrawling from the get go) and Law was fine, but, well, if you didn't know what the word "gurning" was, Redmayne offers an hour of definition, which was especially jarring against the grey void. What a depressing sputter of an ending; the fans deserved better even if JKR assuredly does not.
posted by praemunire at 3:07 PM on June 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

I watched it and decided Mads was just playing Hannibal (I mean, same clothes, same haircut) and it made the whole thing 12% more enjoyable.
posted by haplesschild at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

“Tell me, Albus, do you think if you foil my plans you’ll stop Arianna’s screams in your head?”
posted by wabbittwax at 1:02 PM on June 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

« Older Movie: The Bob's Burgers Movie...   |  Barry: 710N... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments