7. It’s Not Sure Who It’s Made For
Not kids. Not strictly Potter fans. But not strictly the Muggles, either, who would be even more lost and overloaded without a cursory knowledge of the wizarding world. In the end, opinions are going to vary widely about this film, currently 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s trying something different to be sure, and you can’t fault Director David Yates and crew for that. But we fanboys and girls can certainly fault them for not making a film for us, or insisting on showing us retcons we didn’t need or want to know. Truly, I’ve noticed that those who have enjoyed the Fantastic Beasts films more are those who were lukewarm on the original Harry Potter stories. In fact, my colleague and former co-host Stephen McGarvey, who did not enjoy FB1, sat next to me in this screening, concluding that this more artistic movie had a plot he could follow, and was better than the last one.
So just don’t expect too much, because there’s too much else that will be crammed down your throat here. But this also isn’t a case of, “Don’t go see it / don’t spend your money” because if you’re at all invested in this world, you’ll need to keep up. I’d just love to join the discussion with you once you’ve seen it (and found out whether you, too, feel like you need to see it again, but maybe not for good reasons)…
And of course, as always, the usual disclaimer with this type of content – skip it if you’re uncomfortable with “magic” or the words “witch” and “wizard,” even though the movie has much more to do with real-world events and innate skills than biblically-forbidden, occultic witchcraft, though this film – with Grindelwald’s obsession and expertise in The Dark Arts – does delve more into disturbing magic than most films in this series.
Shawn McEvoy is Director of Editorial for Salem Web Network, former co-host of Crosswalk.com’s Video Movie Reviews, and a later-in-life Harry Potter convert.
Publication date: November 15, 2018