Fantastic Beasts 3: Dumbledore’s Secrets Adds Confusion to Confusion [critique]

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On the farm, the animals? Not so fast: this film which was to put the Harry Potter franchise back on track has still not found the magic formula, but it still rectifies the situation.

It was the film of all dangers: four years have passed since The Crimes of Grindewald. Four years and a whole series of derailments. First, the franchise never managed to take off or invent a world or characters as attractive as those of the series Harry Potter. Then, the polemical remarks of JK Rowling created a schism within the fandom. Finally, Johnny Depp was thanked by the studio and replaced urgently by Mads Mikkelsen while Katherine Waterston’s destiny within the universe also seemed compromised… Fantastic Beasts has therefore become this poissard franchise but is that Dumbledore’s Secrets could find the magic formula and ward off (bad) fate? This third chapter tries to correct some defects of the Crimes of Grindelwald, without being able to convince completely.

Fantastic Beasts 3: Mads Mikkelsen would have liked to speak with Johnny Depp

Better than Grindelwald. The previous episode made the saga sink Potter in an abyssal darkness by multiplying clumsy ruminations on the nature of power. The scenario linked the analogies (not always subtle) between the world of magic and the European democracies between the two wars – burying the series under a spirit of somewhat deadly seriousness… From this point of view there, one worries a little at the beginning of the new film since everything begins in Berlin in the 1930s. Grindelwald, who is rotting in prison, wants to seize power and dominate the wizarding world. Once out, he decides to accept the democratic game to better subvert it with the help of his thugs in black shirts. Does it remind you of something? However, very quickly Dumbledore’s Secrets abandons the historical-political pensum to privilege the adventure. We leave Berlin for Central Asia and the dark political negotiations for a chase on the roof of the world and in caves with very fantasy… This episode finally leaves more room for the show and the bestiary (as expected impressive) quickly setting up the limits of its playground: new magical animals, a perfume Backpacking Wizard’s Guideand fun…

Fantastic Beasts 3: Dumbledore finally declares his love for Grindelwald on video

“Confundo!”

Yes, but here it is: this GPS quickly proves ineffective, because the main problem of this component is the complexity of the plot. Even Norbert does not find himself there. At the start of the film, laying out his strategy to put an end to Grindelwald’s actions, he claims that since the evil wizard can see the future, confusion will have to be added to the confusion. Conceived as a spy movie in a magical world, Dumbledore’s Secrets therefore multiplies the incomprehensible swerves, connects the false tracks and the dead ends, and never tries, but then NEVER, to hang up the wagons. The first half hour doesn’t try to pick up the pieces and proves a little difficult for laymen. The plot details will give even the most ardent Potterhead a headache. And characters appear and disappear at the speed of light – without us ever being able to take an interest in their fate. What is Dumbledore’s sister doing in this story? Why is his brother so taciturn? And what does Croyance ultimately believe in? The resolution of the film seems very smoky and obviously does not answer all these questions.

There then remain a few beautiful sequences such as the duel of wizards in the city or a scene Pirates of the Caribbean in which Norbert and his brother must face an army of crabs and a Basilisk. Basically, director David Yates does what he can to make an episode that serves only as preparation for the final two episodes thrilling; he constantly seeks (valiantly? vainly?) the point of balance between visual enchantment, political violence, and old-fashioned adventure. Fortunately in this mission, he can count on two actors at the top. Jude Law is definitely fantastic as Dumbledore (charming and mysterious, installing his cool authority and emotional flaws) while Mikkelsen, naturally less buffoonish and exuberant than Depp, imposes a more subtle Grindelwald, with more insidious Machiavellianism, eventually making his threat much more more tangible… The magic still doesn’t work, but we are making progress.

Fantastic Beasts 3: Dumbledore’s Secrets, by David Yates, with Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Mads Mikkelsen… Duration: 2h22. Released April 13, 2022.

Tina (Katherine Waterston) is good in Fantastic Beasts 3

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