So elaborate is the world in which these beings exist that it has established its author as an enchantress unto her own. In fact, J. K. Rowling, the creator of this world of magic is the ninth-best-selling fiction author of all time. She wrote the scripts for the Fantastic Beasts films, which will intrigue the minds of all those who have read the Harry Potter (HP) books. I myself have read the first HP book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and would have read more had I not seen the films first. The characters are fascinating, the creatures fantastic, and the stories are incredibly detailed. The meandering nature of the story pulled at the threads of its characters and plot points. But it also unraveled their complexities and unveiled their intentions. The film serves its purpose if what you seek is more of the same with the HP books and movies.
What’s the movie about?
At the climax of the first film, we are introduced to Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), a dark wizard intent on leading the magical beings of Earth. The year is 1927. Grindelwald is being transferred to another prison in London. A loyal follower helps him escape this fate and he begins his campaign of tyranny, prophecy, liberation, and enlightenment.
During all this, the protagonist of the film, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), is appealing to the better nature of the British Ministry of Magic to reinstate his right to travel. The Ministry tried to engage him in a deal to lead a quest to locate Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), which will ultimately restore Newt’s right to travel. He refuses this deal as he is not ready to choose a side, but he’s later convinced by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to pursue Credence and destroy Grindelwald. Newt questions Dumbledore to the reason he himself doesn’t go but is informed of a blood pact, which disallows Dumbledore to move against Grindelwald.
Should you go?
On the level, this movie and its predecessor aren’t as good as of the stories of HP. However, if you’re a fan of the genre and/or J.K. Rowling, you’re sure to find some delight in the goings on of this film. Concurrent streams of thought and story run parallel and can confuse the viewer. But the movie’s characters and their corresponding actors compensate for this. The use of CGI magic and the various beasts that occupy the story are pretty cool. Fantastic Beasts II serves well enough as the predecessor and does for it what The Silmarillion does for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which delves deeper into a complex universe capable of endless explorations. If you’re a HP fan, this will please you. If not, skip it.