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Friday, April 15, 2022



Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards and witches. They soon encounter an array of old and new beasts as they clash with Grindelwald's growing legion of followers.

Director: David Yates

Cast:  Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, Mads Mikkelsen

Release Date: April 15, 2022 

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Rated PG-13 for some fantasy action/violence.

Runtime: 2h 22m


Fantastic Beast: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third entry in this prequel series, is lavishly directed and filled with strong turns from its string of A list stars.  None of which should come as a surprise, what is surprising is how this series made a sharp turn into more adult themes and tones.  David Yates, a veteran of the Potterverse, delivers another well crafted entry into the overall series.  His direction is methodical, allowing you appreciate the craftmanship of the production from the sets to wardrobe which makes the world feel real and lived in.  The action set pieces are impressively staged with the dinner escape sequence being a highlight in the film while a particularly gory sequence in a prison is likely to give some kids nightmares crabwalks aside.  The cast is equally committed with each member of the ensemble getting a moment to shine.  Eddie Redmayne, who was the original lead of the series, takes more a secondary role here as the focus shifts to Jude Law's Dumbledore.  Redmayne still manages to make to the most of his screen time especially when paired with his onscreen brother Callum Turner.  Jude Law gets a bigger spotlight here and his take on the character is thoughtful and measured with only a few fleeting moments early on really letting us in.  Mads Mikkelsen, who takes over for Johnny Depp, delivers a strong more menacing turn as the central villain. Mikkelsen can play these type of characters in his sleep so he's hardly flexing but that doesn't mean he's any less fun to watch.  Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler and Jessica Williams are the film's secret weapons by stealing every scene their in and infusing some life in a mostly dour affair.  There in lies the issue with the film, its a decidedly grim affair for the better part of its overlong runtime.  Additionally, this entry is steeped in mythology which might make it inaccessible to the casual fans.  Fantastic Beast: The Secrets of Dumbledore offers plenty to like and appreciate even if the story feels bloated and incomplete by design.  


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