The Crimes Of Grindelwald Rant Review || As A Harry Potter Fan… This Sucks

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So I just finished watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald last night and to say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. I know I’m way behind everyone else with this because I didn’t see it in theaters and just watched it on DVD, but now I’m glad that I did that because seeing this on the big screen would be a huge waste of money.

Here’s the thing. This movie had so much potential. It could have been so, so good. The Harry Potter books are masterpieces, with the incredible immersive world created, with all the minute details that come together to form an rich detailed story. This movie was, well, not.

This is a book blog, but since the world of Harry Potter was originally books, I decided to write a ranty review here describing just what I think went wrong.

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SPOILERS GALORE!

~You Have Been Warned~

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The Pacing

The pacing in this movie was all over the place. Like others have said, this movie felt much more like a giant filler, an two hour way too long set up for the remaining movies. For the entire first 2/3 of the movie, I feel like nothing really happened. The movie was just setting up different characters, introducing us to them, and then jumping to other characters, and other characters. Nothing really happened until the last half hour or so. In fact, since I was watching this on DVD, I could see exactly how much time had passed and how much time was remaining as I watched it, and I honestly just kept thinking when is this going to end? Or, when is something even going to happen?

The thing is, an individual movie or book should be able to stand on its own and hold up by its own merits. Each of the Harry Potter books had an arc of their own, with Harry and his friends facing conflicts and growing as characters and tensions gradually escalating until the climactic endings that felt very appropriate to the book and had been built toward for the whole book. At the same time, they gradually contributed to the overarching conflict of the rise of Voldemort and the impending wizarding war. With Crimes of Grindelwald, the movie does not feel like it builds to a conflict. For most of the movie, I had no idea what was supposed to be happening. It felt like the entire conflict was let’s get everyone to Paris to set up the next movie. 

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The Characters

This movie had: Way. Too. Many. Characters. I consider myself to be a very hardcore Potterhead who knows the lore, yet I still had no idea who people were. For example, there was:

  • That French lady with Grindelwald; who was she?
  • That guy who locked Tina up after the circus; who was he?
  • I feel like Newt’s brother kept showing up with some ministry people, but I really don’t know who they were, or how many of them there were, or anything.
  • One of Grindelwald’s henchmen I think who he was talking to near when Credence blew up the roof? I also saw him in an elevator with the French lady?

The thing is, JK Rowling is used to writing books. In books, I think you can definitely introduce more characters, since we can get more exposition and backstory on them without awkward expositional dialogue. But here, these characters just kept showing up randomly and after a while I stopped trying to understand who they were.

Another issue with having so many characters goes back to the pacing. There were just so many story arcs that the movie kept switching between that I feel like we were always getting re-orientated with other people and spending time setting up these plots so that none of them could get fully developed. And with that; the character development was awful! There were so many things that felt completely out of character from the first movie, or even within this one. I feel like some of them could be plausible, but they would need to be developed further. For example…

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Quennie

Queenie deserved better. Her story line was one of the things I didn’t just dislike, but absolutely hated about this movie! It made no sense! In the first one, she was so sweet and fun, but in this one she’s actually crazy! The fact that she enchanted Jacob felt actually rapey, not to mention downright evil? I mean, the only other character from the Wizarding World we know enchanted their spouse was Voldemort’s mother, and that definitely wasn’t just brushed off and moved on from.

The fact that she would follow Grindelwald actually makes no sense. Grindelwald talks about how wizards are superior to muggles, and she wants to marry a muggle so she goes over to this side? It just doesn’t make any sense. And the fact that we got like three scenes from her in the entire movie as well made it so much worse. There was no time where we saw her gradually changing her mind; it was like, in the first movie she’s sweet and here she’s bad. The end.

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The Romance

This movie put Way Too Much (with a capital W, T, and M) emphasis on romance. I guess…romance sells? There was so much drama between Jacob and Queenie, and there was Newt being all lovesick puppy over Tina, and literally not wanting to go to Paris to help Dumbledore find Creedence before Grindelwald used him, but then he decided to go because Tina might be there? There was literally so much happening in this movie with its crazy convoluted plot and insane number of characters that just devoting so much time to romance honestly annoyed the crap out of me. It’s not a romance movie; it’s about (or supposed to be about) the crimes of Grindelwald.

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The Little Details And Inconsistencies

There were so many little inconsistencies from the other books and movies, and small annoying details that didn’t fit the story. For example:

  • McGonogall is teaching at Hogwarts eight years before she is supposed to be born. This can be verified in Order of the Phoenix when she tells Umbridge she had been teaching at Hogwarts for 39 years. There was literally no reason to drop her name, as she played no important role in the plot, other than fanservice.
  • What are the wizards wearing? They are wearing suits and muggle clothes. In Goblet of Fire, wizards are shown to be wearing ridiculous combinations of clothes since they don’t know how to dress like muggles, and one wizard wears a woman’s nightgown. But here, Dumbledore is wearing a full on muggle suit while teaching?
  • Dumbledore is teaching defense against the dark arts instead of transfiguration! Just because they wanted a scene with Dumbledore and the bogart? We also learn in Half Blood Prince that Professor Merrythought teaches DADA (Tom Riddle wants his job) and has done so for 50 years, which would put her as teacher.
  • Why is it in the first Fantastic Beasts, we are introduced to the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MCUSA), but here it’s referred to as American Ministry of Magic? Literally why?
  • Why are people apparating on Hogwarts grounds? Haven’t they read Hogwarts, A History? You can’t apparate on Hogwarts; Hermione would be ashamed.
  • Why did wizards apparate in puffs of black smoke at Grindelwald’s rally at the end? In the rest of this movie and all the movies, apparation is shown to be a squiggly thing in the spot, not a vertical puff of black smoke.
  • Why is Credence even alive? He was shown to explode and die in the end of the first movie, and now he’s alive and we’re just supposed to roll with it? Nobody, not one single character, asks the question of why is he still alive?
  • Why does Jacob have his memories back? The only bad memories is the most BS explanation ever. If that’s the case, then I’m sure tons and tons of people in New York still have memories. Not to mention it cheapens the entire emotional ending of the last movie with Jacob getting his memories wiped.
  • Why does Dumbledore see Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised, and making the blood pact too? In Deathly Hallows, it’s heavily implied that Dumbledore would see his mother and sister. Furthermore, the Mirror shows your hearts desire, so…Dumbledore’s most desperate desire is to make another blood pact? If it’s just the past/memories we need to see, that’s what we have the Pensive for.
  • Creedence = A Dumbledore?????? This literally makes no sense with canon. It cheapens the emotional ending of Deathly Hallows when Dumbledore lays it all down, stripped bare in front of Harry for all his flaws and regrets and tells him everything. Furthermore, it doesn’t even make sense with the time frame considering how much younger Creedence is, Dumbledore’s parents would be dead/in Azkaban when Creedence would need to be born?

Some of these things are all relatively small and don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, and wouldn’t make or break a movie, but considering there are so many, they really all start to add up and make it feel like there was just no effort that went into this movie.

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Anyways, in summary this movie sucks. I’m glad I saved money and didn’t see this one in theaters, and I’m probably not going to see the next one in theaters…and I don’t even know if I’ll see the next one at all! I love Harry Potter. I really do. But even more than that, I really really with she would stop adding more garbage and ruining the series.

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Let’s Chat

Have you seen The Crimes of Grindelwald? Do you like it? I’d love to chat in the comments below.

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31 thoughts on “The Crimes Of Grindelwald Rant Review || As A Harry Potter Fan… This Sucks

  1. Oooh, I still haven’t watched this (and so skipped everything you wrote after SPOILERS), but the plan was to watch it tonight with hubs, so I’ll come back after and chat with you about it!! But I’ve heard this from others as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, yes to all of this. This movie was such a disappointment. And the thing that sucks is even if the next one is great, I already kind of hate this series because of this movie so I doubt I’ll enjoy any of them. At least it gives me motivation to reread the original series and remember the good old days?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you agree! Yes I totally agree I don’t know how they’ll manage to recover from how horrible this one was…especially considering there were so many plot holes will they just keep up the plot holes through the entire series or else try to pretend they don’t exist and make continuity errors? Rip

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      1. Yeah, there are so many plot holes. It’s like someone obliviated JK Rowling before she wrote the script and she forgot literally every rule of magic she’d created. So frustrating.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My feels regarding the Crimes of Grindelwald exactly! I’m still salty over this movie. While I enjoyed Fantastic Beasts, I felt it didn’t live up to the original Harry Potter books or films. Crimes of Grindelwald just all round sucked. Nothing happened, the character dynamics changed and I felt that everyone was acting out of character and then there’s the fact that I was just plain B-O-R-E-D. I kinda want to say that I’m not sure we really need these movies??? I mean – give me a marauders prequel! Give me a Snape prequel! I just don’t really care about Grindellwald???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to agree with all of your points. When I saw the film at the cinema I got a bit lost in my own anticipation and hype that I turned a blind eye to the many obvious flaws, but looking back I cannot forgive them. You have given a very accurate breakdown of why this film was such a disappointment.
    Everything about the timeline frustrated me, and also Queene’s storyline, which seemed in no way consistent with her character.

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  5. I agree with you on all of the points. The only thing I can think of for Credence being a Dumbledore is that he is Albus’ cousin since in Tales of Beedle the bard he says he had an aunt though I don’t know which side she’s on

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  6. Omg yes there was so many issues with this movie smh. I only enjoyed being back in the wizarding world and seeing all the magic but there were so many holes? The ending with Credence MAKES NO SENSE asdkjadsk I can’t. And aren’t they making like 3 more movies?? 😩😤

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  7. I haven’t seen this movie yet, and I’m not really sure if I ever will? I love the Harry Potter books and movies with my whole heart, but I don’t really think I’m that big a fan of this series, sadly. :/ I love that there’s an opportunity to be back in the wizarding world, and I enjoyed the first one enough, but this one just seems like it doesn’t measure up at all to the standards Harry Potter has set for us!!

    All the plot holes you mention seem SO annoying- after they spent so much time building up an incredibly strong world (complete with histories right down to McGonagall’s life story), I don’t get why it would all be thrown away. They apparated in Hogwarts?? I can’t even count how many times Hermione talked about how you COULDN’T apparate in Hogwarts. *annoyed sigh*

    I’m sorry for my rant, especially since I haven’t even seen the movie- but this was a super interesting post! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly yeah this one kind of ruins parts of Harry Potter–especially with the plot holes and breaking of canon that make me reconsider what I even thought of Harry Potter in the first place…Honestly, I might not even consider this movie canon personally and pretend it doesn’t exist like Cursed Child because it’s so bad… haha no I loved your rant I mean I wrote a 1500+ word rant so ranting is fun

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I co-sign this rant. the focus on romance was such a bad choice – ALL OF IT WAS BAD. the Queenie thing, wtf?? she and Jacob were the one thing that was endearing to me in the first movie and it was RUINED.

    Newt really pings me as asexual, tbh, I know he’s canonically meant to marry Tina and have children as his descendent marries Luna, but that was Word of God in interviews, they didn’t HAVE to incorporate it. and the relationship with Tina was never built up! it was just WE ARE IN LOVE NOW, gotta take their word for it! god forbid they become friends first and we get to see their bond strengthen so we can root for them to get together.

    and I don’t get the focus on the war when this series is supposed to be about fantastic beasts? it should’ve been a cute Harry Potter take on Pokemon, but then the Grindlewald stuff was shoe-horned in even though it makes no sense with Newt as protagonist

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    1. The focus on romance was ridiculous!! Literally if you want to write a romance novel/movie JK Rowling then do it, but don’t try to shove it unnecessarily into your epic fantasy story. Also yeah this has nothing to do with “fantastic beasts” anymore. Tbh if JK Rowling wanted Newt to be asexual we would have heard about it in 10000 tweets by now lmao (but not the actual story, just on twiter and in interviews. Maybe even Pottermore if she’s feeling adventurous).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. omg, go in, lol, I’m dying at the accuracy. in five years time, it will be her intention that Newt was a hetero-romantic demisexual and she thought it was so obvious, it didn’t need to be acknowledged! if only she’d known that people were thirsty for representation, she would’ve made it more clear!

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  9. You’re not alone in your disappointment. At this point, I feel like the fans love the books/HP universe more than JK Rowling does. The movie felt like fan fiction… Queenie deserved better. I also think Leta did, too. I plan to watch the next 2 on DVD, and if they’re better I’ll watch the last one in theaters. I have no idea why they’re stretching this for 5 movies and a year gap in between, no less. At this rate, Movie 5 won’t be out until 2024? I’ll be soooo old LOL

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  10. Ah I completely understand where you’re coming from. Weirdly, I enjoyed it… but it’s not a good movie and I can’t exactly recommend it to anyone. The pacing is really horrible (I heard one reviewer say it doesn’t have a second act- and when you look at it, that’s true!). And yeah it definitely doesn’t stand up on its own and has wayyyy too many characters. And gosh Queenie deserved better. Love that you did a whole section on the little inconsistencies- cos there were way too many of them and they were the thing that pulled me out of the movie the most- especially the McGonagall one- that felt so wrong to me cos it was such an unnecessary mistake! And the Credence plotlines MAKE NO SENSE (although, fun fact, there was a scene where Credence comes back to life that was supposed to be the opening to the movie and they cut it- it actually shows how he came back- it’s not perfect, but it would’ve been something if they’d included it!!) Anyway, fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I all the little inconsistencies were just so annoying because a couple are fine but put together this whole movie just felt so sloppy! Agh why would they cut it because?? I feel like by not showing it now I don’t care when people die because they might always come back to life…ya know. Thanks 🙂

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  11. I did not really enjoy any of the Fantastic Beasts films for several reasons:
    1. The pacing, it just dragged on and on
    2. I did not feel a connection to the majority of characters, maybe because of how the films were made.
    3. It felt very removed from the original Harry Potter series we love. I guess I just came in with the mindset that the films would be somewhat similar to the original HPs but in reality the films are not about a bunch of teenagers whose stories we follow from start to finish.
    4. Too commercisalised. It felt like the continuation of the HP universe for the sake of making more money rather than because there was an amazing story to tell.

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  12. I agree the film is poorly written. There are too many characters and it’s too complicated to follow. I had to keep checking in with myself to see if I was still understanding. And it’s all for low stakes. Grindelwald is supposed to be scary, but he’s just chasing a teenage boy through Europe. Shouldn’t he be doing something….more impressive?

    And there were too many things down simply for drama. Such as Queenie’s storyline. It’s completely out of character for her. And she can read minds. She shouldn’t be fooled by Grindelwald. If he’s blocking her, she can surely read the minds of his followers. The whole thing was just for shock value, not because it makes sense–and that’s poor writing.

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