Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

From the dawn of time until this very moment, there have only been three truly outstanding middle-movies-in-a-trilogy.

The Empire Strikes Back
The Godfather: Part II
Terminator 2: Judgment Day

At the risk of hyperbole, every other second chapter in a film trilogy has sucked more than a hooker late on her rent.  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is no Godfather: Part II.  Fuck, it isn't even The Matrix Reloaded.

From its title on down, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a movie born of algorithms and profitability maximization charts rather than by storytelling or emotional investment.  It's not full of sound and fury - there are actually only two big CGI brouhahas, both equally hollow and meaningless - and it signifies less than nothing.

Newt Scamander (Eddie "And The Cruisers" Redmayne) returns with far fewer, much less fantastic beasts.  He's supposed to be gaga over Tina (Katherine "The Meh" Waterston), but you'd never know it from the 10 minutes of screentime they share, all of which is filled with as much unrequited love and passionate longing as an Arby's commercial.

Newt's muggle bestie, Jacob (Dan "The Velveeta" Fogler), is back and even more useless than last time.  Jacob's girlfriend/Tina's sister, Queenie (Alison "My Aim Is True" Sudol), spends the entire movie acting, for no apparent reason, exactly the opposite of the way she was presented in the first Fantastic Beasts.  Because fuck continuity.

Hogwarts makes a few obligatory appearances.  Young Dumbledore, young McGonagall and a couple of other Potter Babies float on and off screen to wet the dreams of the Rowling devout, but that's fan service not film making.

To the Fantastic Beasts flicks - past, present and future - and to the Potterverse at large, ol' Cinemavenger's got a spell for you.  Fuckius Offius.

November 16, 2018

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