Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore – BRWC Review

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore - BRWC Review

Four years later and the main message of this third instalment of Fantastic Beasts is that love conquers all. Yes indeed it does, just ensure that you’ve watched the previous instalment so you can hit the ground running in this action packed and visually stunning film.

The Secrets of Dumbledore starts off with the magizoologist, Newt Scamander Eddie Redmayne) attending the birth of a very important fantastic beast that is a king maker, for whomever it kneels before is the rightful leader. Guess who wants the beast? Oh yes, Grindelwald (played by the wonderful Mads Mikkelson who does creeping menace so very well) as he’s after world domination. And there’s more, it wasn’t just one beast born that night but twins.

What ensues is a convoluted, at times enjoyable race to stop Grindewald from seizing power. There are now two teams. Team Dumbledore now has Newt’s brother, Theseus, on hand, as well as Professor Hicks, Jacob Kowalski still in love with Queenie, Bunty Broadacre (hopelessly in love with Newt) and wizard Yusuf Kama. On Team Grindelwald, well Queenie who went to the dark side and got a whole new wardrobe and hairstyle as well as Credence who just found out in the previous film that he’s a Dumbledore.

Whilst entertaining, there never seems to be very much peril and after a while the various pastiches of the Third Reich, Indiana Jones and even echoes of the Golden Child, well we do go to Bhutan, start to feel like tired tropes.

Let’s talk about love, so Queenie and Jacob’s love story bubbles along in this one. Jacob never loses his hope and neither should we. However, the central love story is between Dumbledore and Grindelwald and it’s set out at the very beginning: “It’s because I was in love with you.” Then nothing, Dumbledore puts his heart on the table, Grindelwald sniffs at it and walks away. That is what the film feels like, flirts with this idea but then returns to the usual action and wizard stuff. It almost feels as if that scene as well as the final scene was tacked on. I am not sure about the final scene. What is it telling us – that Dumbledore is unloveable?

As with the other films in this franchise, it packs in a lot. Too much even and, this film feels long in the final third. It’s almost as if the studio is hedging their bets to see if the magic still works and the audience wants a fourth film, but, if not no problem because they’ve tied up most of the loose ends in this one.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is released in cinemas on Friday 8 April.

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