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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review: Stop These Movies

Avada Kedavra!

This is the killing curse in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Point your wand, yell that and your enemy will bust in a flash of green light.

So now I’m going to point my wand at them “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” film series., and cast this spell in hopes that I can put this stuttering prequel franchise out of its misery. And miserable it is.

Movie review

Running time: 142 minutes. Rated PG-13 (some fantasy action/violence). In theatres.

According to two appropriate films which darkened the world of Hogwarts and sent its witches and wizards down a black hole, comes an utterly charming third entry entitled “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”.

Warner Bros. was forced to replace Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen (better, but that’s not saying much). Depp’s ongoing drama with ex-wife Amber Heard. Ezra Miller, another star here, will also have to pack the studio for sure the actor’s recent killing spree through Hawaii. And all this drivel about films that don’t make much money anyway.

“Secrets”, sort of the third of a planned five, really makes Dumbledore “stupid”.

The “secrets” of the titular wizard (Jude Law) consist primarily of being gay in the oppressed 1930s and getting out of a relationship with Gellert Grindelwald (Mikkelsen), a wizard-genocide bent on eradicating all non-magical muggles. Originally, the not-so-happy couple dreamed of world peace. They went so far as to mix their blood in a bewitched vial that would prevent them from harming each other – sort of like Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie!

Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) wants to rid the world of non-magical muggles.
Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) wants to rid the world of non-magical muggles.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

It is now up to Dumbledore and his ragtag crew of unqualified idiots to stop Grindy from seizing more power as Grindelwald, transformed from marginal figure into populist hero, seeks to run for elected office at the International Confederation of Wizards. There’s even a scene where he’s being bullied by admirers in Germany. Voldemort, for all his similar evils, has never been more obviously parallel to Hitler. But the spin-off series, directed by David Yates and written by JK Rowling, lacks any art, cleverness, or creativity to speak of.

The connection of the main character Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a magical zoologist, to the rise of witch-fascism in Europe has always been tenuous. At the center of each film is a creature only Newt understands who plays an unlikely role in the plot.

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne, right) and his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) try to stop the evil Grindelwald.
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne, right) and his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) try to stop the evil Grindelwald.
Jaap Buitendijk

This time, it’s a fawn-like animal named Qilin that has the ability to discern the purity of a person’s soul. Grindelwald steals one of the rare Furballs to prove he has his endorsement to become Supreme Mugwump.

Summing up that boredom, it turns out, is just as annoying as watching it.

The other tattered characters Rowling rounded up are back: Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), the clumsy New York baker; Queenie (Alison Sudol), the mind-reading party witch; and Theseus (Callum Turner), Newt’s high-performing brother. Jessica Williams joins the fight – get out while you still can! – as Lally, an American magic professor.

Harder to grasp than the politics-heavy plot and boring people’s phone book is the survival of this franchise. It’s a struggle to find someone, whether Potter fan or snobby critic, who enjoys these films, and there are still two more on the way.

Too bad. In the 11 years since the last Harry Potter film hit theaters, the wizarding world has become an embarrassment.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/15/fantastic-beasts-the-secrets-of-dumbledore-review-stop-these-films/ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review: Stop These Movies

Dais Johnston

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