4/10 In 2016, audiences were generally pleased and relieved to return to an Americanized version of the wizarding world, but Paul and I were dissatisfied with its length and general lack of direction. Now, the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is being met with critical derision, but I’d like to stand up for it, if only half-heartedly.
A year or so after the first movie, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has escaped imprisonment and is hiding somewhere in Paris, searching for Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who apparently survived being completely fucking obliterated in the first movie. Wizarding authorities now suspect Barebone is actually Corvus Lestrange, the last in a long line of pure-blood wizards who was thought to be lost at sea as a child. Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) cannot fight his former lover Grindlewald, and sends Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to Paris in his stead. Scamander is joined by U.S. auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz), who would be Barebone’s half-sister if authorities are correct, as he searches for Barebone.