In the second installment of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, Potter fans dive deeper than a Kelpie into the unknown about the Wizarding World in a film that is a thrilling launching pad for the incredible stories still to tell.
When Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them released in 2016, audiences instantly fell in love with Hufflepuff Newt Scamander and his adventures with Muggle pal Jacob, the beautiful auror Tina, and her mind-reading sister, Queenie. It was a new era for J.K Rowling’s magical world, with subtle hints to the Harry Potter franchise that came before it. Well, the time for subtlety is over, as the Fantastic sequel drives right into the Potter universe and puts it on it’s edge. But don’t worry, this review vows to #ProtectTheSecrets !
The film picks up months after Newt and his friends helped capture the OG dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, just as the villain escapes in a daring chase out of MACUSA, and makes his way to Paris, hoping to track down Credence and recruit him to his evil cause. It’s in the City of Lights that all of your favorites reunite, along with some new faces with very recognizable names. Leading the pack is Leta Lestrange, somehow related to infamous Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (though we have no idea how yet), played by Zoe Kravitz, who I’d argue was literally born for this role. Leta’s dark past and history with Newt creates several complications throughout the film, including getting caught between two Scamander brothers. Then there is Nagini, played by Claudia Kim, who frankly is given very little screen time and even fewer lines. Truthfully, you probably learned everything there is to gain about her from the trailers from the movie — but since we know where her future lies, we expect more about her past will be revealed in later films.
And then, there’s the man himself. Dumbledaddy. YUMbledore. DumbleDAMN! Yes, the long awaited arrival of Albus Dumbledore played by Jude Law was, frankly, worth the wait. As the third man to play the role, with perhaps the highest expectations and responsibility to it, Jude came through with a layered, yet familiar portrayal of the most powerful wizard of all time. There was a quiet anguish in the moments regarding his past tragedies, and there was a quick-wit when it was least expected, which is just classic Albus. Going back to Hogwarts, watching Dumbledore teach — it felt like coming home.
The Fab Four of Newt, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob were back, of course, with all the charm that fans fell in love with the first time around. The couples of Tina/Newt and Queenie/Jacob have a quite a few obstacles to overcome, with one ship that I’m going to venture an educated guess is going to be the Ron & Hermione of this new era. Oye… But what this sequel lacks in romance, it makes up for with laughs, adventure, and one of the biggest twists in Harry Potter history. I kid you not, my jaw was on the floor by the end of the movie and smacked the person next to me.
But I will say no more, #ProtectTheSecrets, but for any Potter fan whose been waiting to have the mythology of the Wizard World to be blown wide open, this movie is for you! Bring on movie 3, 4,and 5! Get to writing, Jo!