Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore

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The fun and excitement of the Wizarding World returns as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore delivers a thrilling, magical series best installment that dazzles from start to finish.

As the threat of Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) becomes ever more present and he moves to lead the Wizarding World, Dumbledore (Jude Law) looks to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and a team of daring folks to stop his advances. The Secrets of Dumbledore rights the wrongs of The Crimes of Grindewald, trading in the overcomplicated storytelling for a more streamlined character-driven outing filled with intriguing building blocks that further drive toward the ultimate clash between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Law is in command as the titular wizard, bringing a balance of raw emotion and steady grace to the role. Mikkelsen, for his part, is a powerful presence on screen who delivers a menacing take on the character of Grindelwald, taking over from Johnny Depp; the role is in incredibly good hands as Mikkelsen is phenomenal. When Law and Mikkelsen are on screen together, especially in the opening scene, magic is made.

The rest of the cast rises to the occasion, particularly Redmayne who is consistently good and Alison Sudol who taps into a more emotionally wrought Queenie than we’ve seen before. Callum Turner as Newt’s brother is also given more to work with here and he runs with it. A scene shared with Redmayne where they are surrounded by dangerous shrimp-like creatures left me in stitches. The Secrets of Dumbledore doesn’t quite know what to do with Ezra Miller’s Credence, however. While his story is still important to the overall direction of the series, his character fades to the back and doesn’t have as large of an impact as one would expect. Perhaps this is for the best given Miller’s recent public woes, giving Warner Bros. an easy out.

What most impressed me with The Secrets of Dumbledore was the feeling that I was watching a film grounded in the Wizarding World that I have come to enjoy, even crave as a connoisseur of the original Harry Potter series. The visual effects are mesmerizing, the magical creatures have never been more fascinating (nor important), and the politically charged story is a powerful one. Metaphors that warn of the dangers of corruption abound, but they don’t drown out the world being built. I credit Steve Kloves return to the pen for this and hope he remains involved moving forward.

The Secrets of Dumbledore explodes with magic and nostalgia from the Harry Potter series and left me incredibly excited for what is to come.

The Secrets of Dumbledore hits theaters on April 15th, 2022.

Rating: 4/5

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