The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts series, and a return to the Harry Potter universe comes home on blu and DVD today.
Very much a middle-act film, there is a lot of world building going on in this film, and the sense of fun that permeated the first film, and the Potter films seems to be sadly missing. There are lots of things tying this film into things we know are going to happen (the films are technically a prequel series, set in the 1920s), and twists and reveals in the lives and families of wizarding families we know well.
J.K. Rowling pens the script, and seeing as she is Potter’s sole author, she is the authority on the realm she’s completed and it’s always nice to revisit the world she has so imaginatively created. Eddie Redmayne returns as Newt Scamander, the reluctant hero, who is called on by his old professor, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to pursue a truth across Paris.
I think once more of the series has been made and released by Warner Brothers, this film will no doubt be essential viewing because it is setting up so much, and there is so much exposition, but taken on its own, it is not quite as enjoyable as one would have liked.
Though, having said that, it is always a joy to return to Rowling’s Wizarding World, and all the familiar touches, spells, nods to things we know, and things we will grow to love are here. And Redmayne is so enjoyable in his role.
The blu-ray, as has been tradition with the Wizarding World films has a solid slew of extras including deleted scenes, interviews with the casts, looks at the making of the film, and the series as well as how it interacts with the Harry Potter films.
The cast in this film is exemplary, and Jude Law truly seems perfect as a young Dumbledore, and the twists and reveals (I want to learn more about Nagini!) that come through out the film will keep true fans delighted, and reevaluating everything they have learned.
I will be delighted to see how this film fits into the story overall, as this one is very much about the setup for what is to follow. That makes it essential viewing for all Potter fans, but there isn’t much to it for the average film viewer.
That being said, this one is definitely one to be enjoyed, but sifting through the spectacle, all the exposition may seem a little heavy. I understand that the series is going to be going to some dark places, World War II is on the horizon, and its affect on the Wizarding World is going to be interesting.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is available on blu-ray and DVD today.