Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: director David Yates, along with screenwriter and universe creator J.K. Rowling, follows the blueprint of a certain mid chapter of a trilogy, darkening the tone and presenting a third-act big reveal (its existence is hinted at since the beginning). However, it also creates a confusing, overly crowded narrative, one that throws all the charm and cuteness of the first film overboard. Additionally, too often the story gives the impression that it requires an encyclopedic knowledge of the universe to be fully appreciated. Acting is duller this time: Eddie Redmayne once more gives an artificial, calculated performance; Johnny Depp doesn’t break any new ground as the all-too-powerful villain, also giving an artificial and tired sort of performance; the highlight of the first film (the trio Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler) are given very little airtime. The film’s darkness present itself also visually, which makes it less interesting; only Colleen Atwood’s costume design stands out.
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