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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” was released on April 15th at last, being directed by former Harry Potter director David Yates and written by Steve Kloves and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. This is the third movie in the “Fantastic Beasts” series and it follows the story of a young Albus Dumbledore, magizoologist Newt Scamander, and allies old and new in the quest to stop Gellert Grindelwald as he attempts to gain control over the wizarding world. 

The movie scored a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes and is the lowest box office opener out of all of the “Harry Potter” and related movies, opening with an underwhelming $43 million at the box office. The series, which has three movies, was initially planned to have two more in the franchise, but due to the less than stellar reviews of this one, the fate of the series is in question. Even though the movie’s reviews aren’t ideal, it’s worth noting that it is number one in the country thus far.

The movie was filled with old and new characters. Returning were characters such as the Dan Fogler’s Jacob Kowalski and introduced new characters such as Jessica William’s Lally Hicks. However, while Gellert Grindelwald is not a new character, he was played by Mads Mikkelson instead of Johnny Depp due to the controversy between him and his former wife, Amber Heard.

The movie series has many characters that have the potential to be complex and interesting characters, but the movie did not deliver. This movie, in particular, had too many characters and no idea how to work with them. It was able to follow through on the entangled past of Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but that was unfortunately all there was to it. Many other characters and relationships that could’ve been explored weren’t, such as the relationship between brothers Newt and Theseus Scamander or Jabob Kowalski and his love interest, Queenie. Still, other than brief scenes, they were surface deep at best.

Speaking of wasted potential, new characters such as Lally Hicks and Yusuf Kama were one-dimensional at best. They started as characters with fun and compelling personalities, but as the movie continued, they fell flat. Even one of the series’ arguably more essential characters, Credence Barebone, played by Ezra Miller, was utterly forgettable, standing quietly in the background for most of the movie. They even changed his story. Initially, he was the brother of Aberforth and Albus Dumbledore, but they changed it without reason to him being the son of Aberforth Dumbledore instead.

Not only do the characters disappoint, but the action portion was unsatisfactory as well. When it comes to anything Harry Potter-related, the combat and battle sequences in the movies set to a fantastical and climactic standard that this movie did not meet. The film was almost two hours and thirty minutes long. Yet, it felt like nothing really happened by the finish along with the ending being anticlimactic.

The entire movie didn’t feel lengthy in any way. It was as though only thirty minutes had passed at the one-and-a-half-hour point. Even with all its flaws, the movie wasn’t completely appalling. The film was nostalgic of the magical world that is Harry Potter, even having a cameo of a young McGonagall. Even if the characters felt one-dimensional in the long run, their interactions were fun and entertaining to watch. Overall, there just wasn’t much about the movie worth noting.

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