Today we’re going to talk about a movie that is the latest installment in a franchise I had almost pronounced dead. Does The Secrets of Dumbledore allow Fantastic Beasts to make a comeback, or can we bury it for good?
The Plot (According to Rotten Tomatoes):
Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
I was quite curious about this film. In preparation I rewatched the first two Fantastic Beasts flicks since I couldn’t remember a thing. While the first one had been somewhat decent if a bit bland, the second one was a hot mess. So, if we were to continue with that downwards trend, the third movie would be awful – and that’s what I prepared for. But I wanted to know just how bad it was going to be.
Turns out, it actually wasn’t?? Sure, this isn’t the most intriguing film out there but it was decently good. I was *so* surprised.
The biggest letdown of the second film for me was the story that was essentially plot holes taped together and holding on for dear life. In this one, the story makes more sense and manages to draw you in. I mean, there are still some flaws, but in comparison, it is a big step up. Somehow the pace of this one is also better than in the second one and the story just flows a lot nicer. Now I am curious about the next movie! I was fully prepared to just put this series in the trash and give up on it and its future installments. But The Secrets of Dumbledore reeled me back in. However, while the title refers to Dumbledore, he actually doesn’t have all that much screentime. In the second film, I was really irritated with it being called The Crimes of Grindelwald and then at the end, you end up wondering what his crimes were (I mean, what did he do before the movie?). I hope that we learn more about the connection between the two in the next films because not properly addressing the past is a major plot hole for me. Yes, they throw in a sentence or two here and there but I feel like we didn’t learn about any of it in a profound way, we’re just barely scraping the surface so far.
Speaking of things that irritated me. Why the ever-loving fuck was McGonagall in this film? She’s not that old! We know that Dumbledore has a good amount of years on his back but from what JK Rowling let slip about McGonagall and her past, she is nowhere near old enough to be a teacher at Hogwarts in these movies. I get that they added her in (even if it was just for one scene in the background) because it might be fun for the fans, but it just does not make any sense at all. Considering that Rowling is writing (or at least co-writing) the scripts there is no excuse. If she can’t keep the pasts she invents for her characters straight, she should probably just shut up about it (like she should about so many other things). Like, she keeps randomly dropping additional info on characters that was never mentioned anywhere in the books, but what is the point of it if she herself then ignores it and nothing matches up?
Another thing I’m not 100% sure about is the costumes. I’ve been thinking about that for a while now. I’m really not an expert in that department and certainly not on the fashion of that time but I kept wondering if it all was perfectly accurate to the time. One might argue that these movies are about wizards and wizards have their own way of dressing but since they are trying extremely hard to blend in with muggles I do think I have a valid point here. It’s just little things like haircuts on women being a little too long for the time. Silhouettes of some of the dresses feeling slightly off, general lack of hats on both women and men. I already know almost nothing about women’s fashion from the time, but even less so about men’s fashion. Thus, I’m even less sure if the suits were on point. Don’t get me wrong the costumes are certainly beautiful and wonderfully made, but some things felt just the tiniest bit off. I’m already looking forward to people who actually know about this kind of stuff talking about it on Youtube so I can figure out whether I’m just an idiot or not.
So, despite some small flaws in the story, this was a huge step up from the previous Fantastic Beasts film. Now I’m actually curious to see more. Man, I am so surprised that this was actually good!
Did you watch the film? Let me know in the comments!