This latest film starts to untangle some of the unnecessary complex plot twists created in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

This latest part to the Fantastic Beasts series that delves deeper into the magical world created by J.K Rowling definitely begins to make the direction it is going to take for the other films a lot clearer as the world that Newt Scamander and his friends are living in gets darker. This is in spite of the fact there are still a few scenes that could be trimmed.

Sweeping audiences back to the 1930’s, the film begins with both Newt and Grindelwald capturing an important magical creature – which has influence in the voting process as Grindelwald attempts to take full control of the wizarding world through a democratic route. But of course, Albus Dumbledore and his new army of heroes (with a few familiar faces of course) are attempting to thwart him by any means possible. It is certainly a spirited and entertaining adventure that emerges and has plenty to keep audiences guessing – but also helps to tidy up some of the confusing aspects of the second film that just felt unnecessary.

Directed by David Yates, the film is filled with dazzling special effects through dramatic sequences that enhance the danger that all the heroes are in. It certainly feels like a more confident film in contrast to The Crimes of Grindelwald, a little more sure of foot in a way that is engaging to watch unfold. Perhaps it is down to the deeper examination of the characters themselves that make this compelling. In particular, I loved the way in which Albus Dumbledore’s (a twinkling and playful Jude Law) relationships with his brother Aberforth ( a suitably moody Richard Coyle) and Grindelwald (a subtle but chillingly charming Mads Mikelkelson) are explored – tying in nicely with Credence’s (Ezra Miller) story. Meanwhile, it is also lovely to see Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski taking an even stronger position in the action – his character really blossoms in this film and is always comforting presence in every scene he is in – even if he is still heartbroken over Queenie’s turn to Grindewald’s side.

But what is also strong about the film is the way in which it ties in the idea of what was happening in 1930’s Europe with the rise of fascism with the rise of evil in the wizarding world to showcase that there is no safe space for any one – fantastic beast, wizards or muggles and it is only when they all work together can some good begin to happen. But it does have to be said that some scenes could have been trimmed down slightly particularly in the opening sequence. I didn’t really see the significance of Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s meeting as it suggested everything that we already knew about the changing nature of their relationship – yes it was nice to see them interacting but perhaps it should have highlighted the exact moment in which they both knew their paths were very different.

Showing much more depth then its predecessor, The Secrets of Dumbledore is engaging and enjoyable adventure that makes you want to see what happens next.

By Emma Clarendon

The Secrets of Dumbledore is available to buy digitally now and is available on DVD from the 25th July.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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