The first Fantastic Beasts movie was excellent. It was a bright and magical adventure. This one is going down another path and I cannot say that I was overly thrilled by that.
This movie is putting emphasis on political machinations, division between the wizards and the non-wizards, betrayals etc. etc. Take away the magic component and you really have a fairly regular racial-differences, humans are bad and all that, movie of the kind that Hollywood is all too eager to mass produce these days. Sure it is not as blunt, preachy and totally ridiculous as a lot of their creations but still … not the path I wanted these movies to take.
At least there are plenty of magic and beasts around in this movie to make the dark and, at times, boring story a bit more compelling. The magic and the beasts, i.e. the special effects, are really the most enjoyable part of this movie.
I was not too keen about Newt already in the first movie and he is not any better in this one. He is simply too nerdy and insecure for my taste. I prefer main protagonists that are more assertive and active. Having said that he is still a likable chap in general. Queenie is still annoying as hell though.
I was very positively surprised by Johnny Depp as Grindelwald though. I was not at all sure that his normal half crazy and comical acting style would make for a good main bad guy. However, he worked very well in the role.
The end is pretty much a big cliffhanger and not exactly on a good note. This is actually a fairly sad movie overall which is perhaps one reason that I, personally, did not feel overly impressed by it. That is not too say that it is not a good movie. It is just that is is not the kind of story I hoped for.