Summary: Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda. To thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
Cast Mostly and some Characters. I don’t find everyone that interesting, or at least not enough for me to be like OH YES, I NEED MORE! But I thought everyone did great jobs in their role. The acting is really good in this movie. Top Marks!
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. This movie didn’t even really need to follow him but sure. Newt is as he was in the first. Awkward, sweet and loves his animals. In this one, he wants to travel again after getting in trouble from the events in the first film, but the Ministry wants him to be an Auror. That’s not his thing. So, he ends up being called upon by Albus Dumbledore to help him with something because Dumbledore cannot do it himself. Newt agrees and probably didn’t realize that he just might be the first person (but not the last) who Dumbledore uses to do the work to accomplish a goal. Aaaaanyways, most of the movie is Newt running around trying to find Credence while also trying to find Tina because he’s in lub and he misses her. I like Eddie Redmayne and he’s very good as Newt, very likable most of the time.
Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein. Tina isn’t seen for most of the first half of the movie. I didn’t like her that much in the first one and that hasn’t really changed. She’s also looking for Credence because she wants to save him from whatever Grindelwald might want of him, plus she’s trying to clear her name after the last incident that happened at the end of the first movie. She does a stupid thing and she and Newt are finally reunited. Then they’re pretty much together the rest of the movie, where he tries to explain what she saw wasn’t true and what not. Tina is still headstrong but as the movie isn’t about her, that’s all we really get. Katherine Waterston is again fine in her role.
Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski. Still a favorite character. So, at the end of the first movie, he loses his memory of what happened thanks to the rain from the Thunderbird. But basically, Queenie finds him and restores his memory but ya know, it’s frowned upon for witches and muggles (I DO NOT LIKE “NO-MAJ”) to be together so that whole thing is pretty much his introduction in the movie. He and Queenie arrive and he’s being all weird. Jacob is as fun supporting character. He’s the audience in how he reacts to the world and I love it. He’s good-natured and pretty much down for the ride. He does have a lot of emotional things happening in this movie, so I’m very interested to see what happens with him in the next one… *rolls eyes* Dan Fogler is funny, and he has some great emotional moments and you really feel for him.
Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein. Tina’s younger sister who is a powerful natural Legilimens. She fell in love with Jacob even though the wizarding laws forbid relationships with MUGGLES. So, in this movie, she’s really broken up about her feelings for him and what society doesn’t allow. That’s pretty much the bulk of her character in this movie. Her agonizing over this. *sighs* I don’t mind it being something she’s dealing with, but it didn’t have to be her entire storyline because she’s so interesting that it sucks that she’s regulated to that. BUT BUT Alison Sudol is really good as this character and she has some great emotional moments. The scene I dislike the most with her towards the end, is really good acting wise.
Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone. Following the events of the first movie, we see that he did not die the way they thought he did. He ran off to the circus. He now seems to have control over his Obscurus which makes him extremely powerful. We don’t get a ton of him in this movie and anytime we do, it’s mostly because he’s trying to figure out who he is and where he comes from. He is close with Nagini and they escaped the circus together. I think Credence is an interesting character, but we don’t see enough of him just yet, so I’m hoping that he gets more development in the third film. I also LOVE Ezra Miller and he’s great at playing the kind of character Credence is, kind of broken down but filled with rage over what he endured, not to mention, someone who is growing into their own man. He’s so good at that lol.
Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange. Leta is an interesting character, she went to school with Newt, and he was in love with her. She did something terrible that Newt took the blame for, which is why he’s an outcast in some circles. She comes from a well-known pureblood family who is known for the Dark Arts. She is engaged to Newt’s older brother Theseus and works in the Ministry as an assistant. Outside of what we learn about her from the flashback, we don’t get the chance to really know her to get any emotional attachment to her. But Zoe Kravitz is great as she always is.
Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander. He is Newt’s older brother and an Auror. He fought in World War I and is seen as a “War hero”, though he seems too young to be Newt’s older brother, because the actor is in fact younger than Redmayne and it shows physically. He and Newt seem to have an okay relationship, they’re just different personalities, like Theseus is a hugger lol. He spent previous years looking for Grindelwald and he’s engaged to Leta. Theseus was cool, and he seemed to not only care about duty but care about his brother because he must make some decisions that would affect both relationships. I like Callum Turner’s voice lol, but I think he makes Theseus likable because I feel like he would be one of those characters who would toe that line of likability.
Claudia Kim as Nagini. She is the main attraction a wizarding circus and freak show called Circus Arcanus. She is a Maledictus, who carries a blood curse that will eventually transform her into a snake permanently. She befriends Credence and becomes a confidant for him. They run away from the circus together in search of his heritage. She seems to be very wary of things in general but that’s about it. I don’t like the fact that she’s Nagini who later becomes Voldy’s snake, I mean whatever, but because of that connection, I just want to know how she met him and what made her want to follow him but not trust Grindelwald. I mean, they’re different but similar. Claudia Kim doesn’t get to do much other than look cautious and worried throughout the film.
Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore. Well hey there Dumbledore. He is an extremely powerful and influential wizard in the British Wizarding Community, known in the British Ministry of Magic and throughout the wider wizarding world for his academic brilliance, currently a professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He and Grindelwald grew up together and he had some kind of relationship with him over the summer and it ended badly. It’s already been told to us that Grindelwald and Dumbledore were romantic, or at least it was leading that way but ya know, it fell apart. Dumbledore is the one who brings Newt into the situation because He “cannot move against Grindelwald” for reasons we learn later. Also, the Ministry, as always, is frustrated with him because while he’s on their side, he won’t/can’t do what they want and so he ends up being forced on the sidelines even more. Jude Law was a great choice for Dumbledore. I was kind of shocked at how much I liked him in this role. He manages to have the same presence as those before him while also having swag lol.
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald. He is a powerful dark wizard who caused mass violence, terror and chaos. He wants to create a new Wizarding World Order about wizarding superiority. He doesn’t want to exterminate muggles (like Voldemort) but he wants to subjugate everyone who isn’t a pure wizard. They all have their place he says. He was captured by MACUSA in New York after wreaking havoc, and of course the whole thing when he pretended to be Colin Farrell’s character in the first one. By the way, he’s more powerful than Voldemort lol. Anyways, I think he kills a few people, the wizards who were transporting him and a muggle family but then he just spends the movie talking to people. He wants to “free” their minds to see things his way and he just talks a lot. While I have problems with the scene overall, my favorite scene of his is when they’re in the graveyard with the blue flames. I thought he did great there and seemed crazy while also powerful and intriguing. I can see the pull but not enough to sway me personally. I have always loved Johnny Depp and despite the mess that’s been around about him for some years, I’m glad he got to be in a mainstream movie where he does well with an interesting character. I don’t particularly like how stark his two eye colors were, maybe if the blue wasn’t so vibrant, but perhaps that was the point. But he manages to command the screen whenever he’s on it.
The Costumes. As always Colleen Atwood is great at her job. I recognize her talents lol. I miss Newt’s old blue coat but the coat he wore in this was great too! Albus also had a great look! I mean wow! Leta’s clothes… *Swoons* the costumes are great okay.
Musical Soundtrack. I can’t remember if I liked the soundtrack in the first one, but I think the soundtrack in this one was good, particularly in the emotional scenes like the entire graveyard sequence. I think this soundtrack is superior to the first one. I’ll have to listen again to verify this, but I thought it stood out quite a bit.
Use of Magic. With it being part of a magical world, the use of magic is very important, and I think it’s used in ways that keep the film moving forward. I like the creatures we saw, old and new ones, the designs on them are still great. With the blue flames in the graveyard sequence and how that was used was cool as well. Not to mention, Nagini’s whole transformation thing and how Credence used his powers. If anything, this movie does well, it’s the magic.
The Title. WHY IS THIS STILL CALLED “FANTASTIC BEASTS”! It has nothing to do with that. Just because you sprinkle in other magical creatures and the fact that Credence is an Obscurus does not mean that this movie needs to be part of that series. Why couldn’t Fantastic Beasts just exist on its own as well as this movie? It feels so much like a forced effort.
The story is all over the place. It is. End of story.
Nothing Happens in This Movie. All the reveals come at the end of the movie. So, any questions we had from the first movie, get answered at the end. It’s not like we got them throughout the film, or at the beginning and then we now have new questions that are because of good writing, not questions like “What even is this movie?” It just feels like a movie with nothing going on until the last 20 minutes or so. That’s a problem because this movie is 2 hours and some change. I watched people talk and people go places. That’s about it. It’s so much building that it never actually gets to where the building is going towards at least not in this movie. It should be able to stand on its own even if it’s a sequel.
Queenie’s Development. Not happy with what happened with her as I loved her character in the first one but there must have been a ton cut out with her character because she just does so much that seems out of character for her. I don’t understand the choices. By time we get to the end with her big decision, I was like “huh?” Like, I get it on the surface because sure, but how did she exactly reach that decision as if it was the only way? It was a 180 and I did not expect that from her because there was NO REASON AS TO WHY!
Leta Lestrange. Her character was interesting from what we saw in this movie and I thought Zoe Kravitz was great in her minor role. I also do not like how the movie handled her overall because we do not have the chance to get invested in her emotionally. Why should we care about her? They made such a big deal and it didn’t matter. We know the name Lestrange because of Bellatrix, which is fine, but Leta was someone I wanted to know because if you’re going to introduce a new character with connection to someone we’ve known before… then explore it! Especially when we get her backstory. But… I don’t know if they decided she wasn’t important moving forward, or if they wanted something like what we’ve seen in previous HP movies or what, but she was wasted. Not over it.
Credence’s Background. I knew what it was going to be, and I was not thrilled. As a Harry Potter fan, not thrilled at all and completely unnecessary. But that’s not the problem, my problem is that they spend way too much time trying to fake Credence and the audience out by jerking us around with his heritage. It’s not that serious. There was no reason to wait till the end of the movie for us to find out who he is. If Grindelwald wants him on his side so badly, he should have just told him as soon as he got out and got some of his followers back, what’s what. It felt like a waste of my time and I wasn’t happy about the journey nor the ending. Which is shame because I find Credence a very interesting and compelling character but pfft, ruined with that reveal.
Overall, I wanted to like this movie because I love Harry Potter and the Wizarding World. But I think this one is such a disappointment that I was upset when it was over. The first one I enjoyed enough but this one I barely enjoyed. Ugh. The characters are still interesting, and the acting is good across the board. The costumes are beautiful as always and the soundtrack is beautiful. Also, of course, the magic is used very well in the film. Now, there are a lot of issues. The story is all over the place, which means nothing happens in this film because there hardly is a story! The development of certain characters is so bad that I was like UGH! WHY did they do that!? And the title is still stupid… drop the Fantastic Beasts. Jeez. Anyway, it might be worth the watch if you’ve seen the first one but if you don’t really care for them, then I wouldn’t bother.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Did you see Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald? What did you think about it? Where do you think these movies can continue to go in terms of direction? Are you a Harry Potter fan and do you think these movies are necessary or just fanfiction? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
So this is the first time, I’m really doing a “First Look” type of thing with a movie coming out. I kind of did it with Beauty and the Beast with the trailer but this time I’m doing with the first picture they released.
But I think it’s important to note first, that I thought Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was fine. Check out my review here. But I had my issues with it, mainly with it being unfocused and boring. They tried to do too many things in one film and I didn’t really like that. Now, I’ve seen comments about how they felt that these movies were “shoe-horning” the Harry Potter-isms in the movie and this one is going to be even more of that, mostly with Dumbledore being involved, but I think that’s silly because it’s a prequel universe to the Harry Potter timeline… so why wouldn’t they put things we’re already used to seeing in this movie? I mean…?
Regardless though, I think it’s the whole “fantastic beasts” thing that is being “shoe-horned”. The beasts felt like a subplot in the first one and that bothered me with a film called “Fantastic Beasts and WHERE to Find Them”, I mean I get it. But it felt unimportant compared to everything else going on. I thought the film was going to focus on Newt trying to capture these beasts and what not but it didn’t really focus on that. It was part, but it felt sporadic. Why is this one called Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald? Why can’t it just be called “The Crimes of Grindelwald“? That makes much more sense to me than putting the Fantastic Beasts in front of the title. If it’s going to be about them catching Grindelwald, then let’s leave it at that. It can be argued that “fantastic beasts” refers to Credence (Ezra Miller) and the unnamed girl in the picture next to him (Claudia Kim) being that he’s a Obscurus and has somehow survived from being attacked in the last movie. Not that I thought he actually died. He seemed to powerful for that. Claudia Kim is supposed to be a Maledictus, a person who turns into an animal, so maybe that works but it just seems odd and doesn’t fit together “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald“. It doesn’t roll of the tongue lol.
The Picture Itself
So I like it. I don’t think it looks weird or anything. I like the feel of it and it definitely fits into that 20s theme. I like how in the stagnant picture how everyone kind of have their own thing going on.
Albus looks great in his long coat, I wonder though he long it takes him to become the eccentric Dumbledore we know as an older adult.
Grindelwald also looks great, I don’t care what anyone says, but I think Johnny Depp looks great in this picture and I’m excited for him.
Tina and Newt are close together and she is leaning towards him but Newt is just looking awkward as always.
It’s cute that Jacob has his hand on Queenie’s arm and she’s leaning into him.
Theseus almost looks a bit… scary in the center but I also think it’s interesting how Newt is behind him instead of being center himself. Anyway, Theseus and Leta look like a pure blood couple lol.
Credence and Maledictus (I’m sure that’s not her actual name, it’s unknown right now) look interesting in the corner. I mean, honestly, my eyes go to them first. But Credence is hunched over but not in the way he hunched in the first movie, in the first movie, he hunched because he was always scared or sad but here he’s hunched (it really seems like a natural state for him really) and has this look like “mess with me but I’m also trying to control myself” lol, plus with Maledictus hanging on him and she has a sad look on her face too and I love her outfit.
Now if you look at the picture with the YouTube video and how it moves. I can’t find a gif so just look at the video lol.
Albus immediately turns his head and look at Grindelwald, which I think is so interesting. Obviously they have a history and it looks like Albus can’t help himself… plus he’s chasing him. So double entendre lol. Make note that Albus does NOT have the Elder Wand yet.
Grindelwald doesn’t really move, the only thing I thought moved was his expression. If you look closely, he looks like he’s smirking but the smirk goes away. Not sure what that’s about. Does he feel bad about what happened between him and Albus? Meh, I doubt it. Maybe he feels bad about what happened with Credence since he worked so hard to make him trust him. Dunno but it’s interesting. Also make note that Grindelwald has the Elder Wand (one of the Deathly Hallows).
Jacob and Queenie don’t move position, but they both sort of look at Grindelwald. Queenie’s smile goes away when she looks at him and Jacob’s eyes look at Grindelwald.
Theseus and Leta look at each other. That’s about it.
Credence doesn’t move but Maledictus’s expression saddens and she leans on Credence more. I can’t help but wonder Credence does for her what Tina did for him previously, and in a way what Graves did for him.
Tina immediately turns and looks at Newt. However, before he awkwardly looks at her, she turns away. I don’t know how long it’ll be before they *spoiler alert* get together and married but maybe that’s foreshadowing that they keep dancing around each other.
Lastly, Newt shifts awkwardly before turning to look at Tina (who just looks away), he does an awkward double take before slightly glancing at Leta and Theseus.
The Characters Involved.
So we have returning characters but also a good group of new characters. I wanted to go a bit more into them from what we know and to what we might find out.
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander: He is a self-proclaimed Magizoologist. He has finished his book about magical beasts. He works in the Ministry of Magic in the Beasts Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures (whew a mouthful). In this film, he is supposed to be working alongside Albus Dumbledore in apprehending Grindelwald who has escaped from MACUSA, because he has thwarted Grindelwald before. I liked Newt fine, he’s definitely odd but I also don’t think I got attached to him at all because he just felt like he was there. I hate to compare but Harry Potter is so loved because he felt like a real person, regardless of him being new to magic the first time we meet him, he still felt real. Newt doesn’t feel that way yet.
Katherine Waterston as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein: I’m trying to figure out why she went back to MACUSA after they tried to execute her without any real evidence or trial. That’s weird. But anyway, she’s a MACUSA Auror who works mostly with the Major Investigations Department. Spoiler alert again… she’s Newt’s love interest because they get married down the line. Tina was kind of meh in the first movie, so hopefully they’ll allow her character to be more likable here.Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski: I really liked him in the first movie, he was a great addition. But… why is he here? To be Queenie’s love interest? I like them but I hope he has more to do than that otherwise he’ll feel useless.
Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein: I really liked Queenie, she reminded me of Luna Lovegood. I know that she and Jacob will be reunited even though his memory was wiped at the end of the first movie. I also hope she has more to do because I did really like her. She’s also a Legilimens.
Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone: I love Ezra Miller. LOVE HIM. I knew his character wasn’t dead even though the attack on him at the end of the first film, seemed pretty final but he seemed way too powerful to be destroyed like that. So, somehow he’s returned and I wonder what his role will be like. In the first one, he was so abused that he violently repressed a lot, including his magic, which made him powerful. But, I want to know what happened to him, how he came back etc. Apparently his role will continue to expand in the series which I’m down for because his character was interesting.
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald: He is a Dark wizard who commits violent attacks throughout Europe and causes mass chaos in US. He wants to build up his forces and create a New Wizarding Order (similar to Voldemort). Apparently he escapes from MACUSA. He shares a long, deep and mysterious relationship with Albus Dumbledore until they got into a big fight. I think Johnny Depp looks very good in this photo. A lot of people have talked about him, and while I agree he looked weird at the end of the first one, he looks much better here. He looks healthy and in his right mind. He looks mysterious and kind of sexy, it’s kind of weird lol. Grindelwald is supposed to be sleazy and that’s what he looks like, he’s the opposite of Dumbledore. I’m very interested in seeing what happens with him. I really want Johnny Depp to get a win, I’ve always loved him and I want him to do well in this movie. I wonder if Grindelwald will get back in contact with Credence as himself this time since he’s been outed and no longer Colin Farrell.
Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore: He is an extremely and powerful wizard in the British Wizarding Community. He is known for his academic excellence and is currently the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts. He believed in Newt when he was expelled from school which makes sense why he goes to him for help in catching Grindelwald. I think Jude Law also looks FANTASTIC as a young Albus. I’m really interested in seeing how he plays him considering we’ve had two older Dumbledores both being very good at different parts of the character in the Harry Potter films. I can’t wait to see how things turn out when he comes face to face with Grindelwald.
Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange: She’s shown very briefly in a photograph in Newt’s possession. It seemed like they had a thing in school, mostly where Newt liked her. I don’t know much about her but according to the wiki “she is a damaged and confused young woman who still exerts a large amount of control over Newt, who might still be in love with her”. She risked the life of a student at school, responsible for Newt being cast out of a lot of British wizarding society circles, all because he took the blame for some of her crap. She of course is related by marriage to Bellatrix Lestrange. In this film, she is engaged to Newt’s brother Theseus Scamander. As I said, I don’t know much about her but I really like Zoe Kravitz and I know she’ll do a good job, but I’m curious as to what her character will be like in the film. I’m also interested because it’s Zoe Kravitz! So are the Lestranges black or what? That’s so exciting lol.
Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander: The older brother of Newt. They have an interesting relationship in which they don’t really understand each other but they’re nice to each other. He is described as a “war hero” in that he fought in WWI (so did Newt) and works in the Auror Office. He has spent the year hunting Grindelwald and is engaged to Leta Lestrange. I don’t know much about him either. I don’t know if Pottermore goes into detail about him but for one I’m curious to see how he and Newt interact (especially since Eddie Redmayne is older than Callum Turner) and if their relationship is actually a strained one that they pretend isn’t, not to mention, with Newt probably still having a thing for Leta. If you look at the moving picture, Newt does kind of look at her before looking back at Tina (who looks away before he looks at her), so maybe Newt and Theseus don’t really get along. I mean Theseus looks like a douche.
Claudia Kim as a Maledictus: Nothing is really known about her, I’m sure her name isn’t Maledictus but she has a blood curse that causes her to transform into a beast. In this film, she is the main attraction of the wizarding circus and freak show. That’s definitely interesting to see, we already know that the wizarding world can be cruel, especially when it comes to “blood impurities” so I’m curious to see how she and Credence meet since in the picture, she is draped over him. I’m interested in her period. I want to know how she got caught, how long she’s been in the circus and I’m assuming she escapes, so I want to know how.
The Costumes/The Look
So one of the strong points of the first film was definitely the costume and the design. I really liked how the film looked a lot. I think this photo embraces that as well. Yes, I can get this all from a photo. Now to go down the line.
Albus is wearing an AWESOME coat. I want it. I love long coats. I do wonder when he stopped wearing those awesome coats and started wearing those long robes. Don’t go to the dark side Albus! Keep the swanky coat! Plus that beard! He also looks a far cry from the man we end up knowing. Dumbledore has had a lot of sadness in his life so I’m not surprised. Again, he’s not holding the Elder Wand.
Credence really looks different. First of all, you can cut glass on Ezra Miller’s face but this is a big difference to the black coats in the first movie. I can’t help but wonder if he works in the circus and that’s how he meets Maledictus. He looks like he’s wearing worker clothes but the expression on his face is also an extremely new one. It’s angry.
Maledictus looks beautiful. I love her outfit. I wonder what she turns into, maybe some kind of bird due to the detail on her leggings. Or what if she turns into a Occamy!? The design on her leggings kind of look like the scales of an Occamy and her hair style looks like the feathers on its head. Oh man, what if I call that? That would be so awesome!
Leta Lestrange as I said looks nice, I really like the color on her and while I’m sure Leta and Newt are about 29 (Zoe Kravitz is 28) it just makes her look too old. Maybe it’s the type of dress and the hairstyle. She looks beautiful as always but there’s something I don’t like lol.
Theseus Scamander first of all, looks like a douche but he’s wearing a standard three-piece suit. It looks nice but it looks sharp and severe.
Tina looks soooo good here. Her hair really annoyed me in the first film, even if that was the style, but I think this looks much better. I guess going back to work for MACUSA did her good. Her coat is amazing, it looks like silk but hard to say.
Newt looks just like he did in the first film, with that yellow vest and that long green jacket. I like his look. It’s frumpy lol but it works for him. I really like his coat.
Jacob looks the same and he looks nice. I really like his suit too, I think it’s blue and the little detail of his tie is really nice.
I LOOOOVE Queenie’s dress! Oh my goodness that thing is amazing! Her shoes! Wow! It’s quirky and sexy just like her.
Grindelwald is wearing a GREAT coat. It’s kind of like Albus’s but he’s too cool that his is open. I like the pockets of his pants and his vest. He looks like a gentleman but at the same time, he doesn’t because he’s wearing a lot of layers and it seems a bit overkill but it works for him. Plus, the hair, lol this look kind of fits Johnny Depp.
My Hopes for the Film
As I said before, the first one is fine, I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t really like it either. I really want this film to be:
Focused. That was my biggest problem with the first film is that it was unfocused. There was a lot of storylines going on that the movie didn’t seem to know which one it wanted to follow and by time it figured it out, the movie was already ending. There already seem to be a lot going on with Albus and Newt going after Grindelwald who has escaped. I’m sure Tina will be helping in some way as well. Theseus will probably show up as he’s been chasing Grindelwald for a year. What will Queenie and Jacob be doing? Just connecting? Will Leta actually be around or is it really in flashbacks? What about Credence and then Maledictus? There already seems like a lot going on, I just hope that they can handle the multiple storylines and make it come together for the film. I love that J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay but I think you can tell she’s a novelist.
A Strong Story. This goes hand in hand with it being focused, but I don’t doubt it will be an interesting idea, but I want it to be STRONG. I want to care about what’s going on, not to be bored. It will never replace the Harry Potter stories, but I want these movies to build on the huge and ever-expanding Wizarding World and make me love it even more. The first one didn’t do that, it just felt unnecessary. I want this film (and the ones coming after) to feel necessary. I want the story to be intriguing that I can’t wait for the next one.
Interesting Characters. I don’t doubt that the acting will be good as I thought the acting was fine in the first film, I didn’t dislike any character, I just didn’t really much about a lot of them because they didn’t have a lot to do, or they were just there because the script said they had to be. But I really want everyone, including the new characters to be interesting. I’m not asking for the script to go into so much detail about everyone, I mean that’s almost impossible for a movie like this (if it was 3 hours long then I’m sure it could), but at least give us enough that it feels satisfying. I also hope that the returning characters are built upon and not just continuing the story without any real reason of being there.
Good Music. Let’s keep the good music flowing around here! I like good movie soundtracks! It sounds shallow but that’s what I want lol.
So that’s all I got for now. There’s a lot to be said from this one picture and that little video. I think there’s a lot of potential but I also think it could be along the same vein of the first one where it’s just… okay. I don’t want a movie that belongs to the Harry Potter Wizarding World to just be okay. I didn’t get around to reading The Cursed Child but I didn’t hear many good things about it and I don’t want this set of prequels to be thought of collectively like that book(play) is. There’s so much in the Harry Potter world that there is room to be explored and be built upon without having to worry about a set of books to go by, there’s room for new stuff but I hope that doesn’t ruin things.
I’m not really excited from the one picture (trust me, first look photos for other movies have gotten me freaked before) but I’m hopeful.
What do you think of the photo?
Do you think this cast looks good?
What do YOU want to see be explored in this movie?
What is your favorite Harry Potter book/movie?
Let me know in the comments! Please don’t forget to like this post and follow this blog!
Summary: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.
Cast and Characters. As always in these movies, there are a LOT of characters BUT some of them are just there to be some type of opposition, or they may serve some purpose but they aren’t that important for me to talk about.
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. I’m going to say this now, I think Jack Sparrow is better as a supporting character, or at least NOT the main character, this is why Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, and On Stranger Tides didn’t work as much. So I think this is a return to form of his character in Curse of the Black Pearl, where he may be part of the plot, may help it go forward but he just crashes into things every now and then. I think that works best for him. Jack in this film seems to be lesser, he’s lost his way, he’s not as awesome as he was before, he can’t even plan a bank robbery correctly however, he’s being pursued due to his past and at first he doesn’t seem to be much bothered by it, he doesn’t seem to scheme as much as he has in the past, but instead stuff just happens, showing that he’s lost it a lot. I think Jack Sparrow is one of Johnny Depp’s most iconic roles (I’m partial to Edward Scissorhands) and I think after the first film, he became a caricature of a great and fresh character. He’s much more subdued here, he’s not as “over the top” in some of his expressions or mannerisms, he’s dialed it back a lot, and I think it works here for the most part. I love Johnny Depp and I really want him to get some wins.
Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar. He is a maniacal undead pirate hunter of the Spanish Navy. He was trying to rid the seas of all pirates, he’s tricked into sailing his ship into the Devil’s Triangle causing him and his crew to be cursed. He seeks the Trident of Poseidon to extinguish piracy and get revenge on Jack. He’s a very interesting character, as he starts off as a powerful man and “falls from grace”. He spends the movie wanting his revenge on Jack but he will cut down anyone in his way, he takes no prisoners and everyone is terrified of him. Javier Bardem is a great actor and he’s so terrifying, he’s the best performance in the film, the way he walked for the character, how he utiltized his appearence, and his surroundings. I think he was one of the scariest villains in the POTC universe next to Barbossa in the first film.
Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner. He is the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. The film opens up with a 7-10 year old Henry trying to find his father who is still the “Davy Jones” of the sea after At World’s End. He is desperate to reconnect with his father, to find him and free him of his curse. Throughout the film, he kind of fills Will’s role in being the young guy, but his motives are more emotional as it’s his father, a man he probably doesn’t know as much due to the rule “only can come on land once every 10 years”. He ends up meeting Salazar in the beginning, and delivers a message to Jack but he wants Jack to help him instead. I liked him, I thought he was a sweet kid, headstrong, brave and impulsive however I do think there were times where he was taken over by some of the other characters but I think that has to do with Brenton not really being as charismatic as the others. Even though Orlando Bloom isn’t the best actor around, he’s charismatic and kind of magnetic in a way where your eye is drawn to him. Brenton didn’t have that as much but I did like that his arc was provided and solved in the film, at least for this movie’s purpose.
Lewis McGowan was young Henry and I thought he was very good. It was easy to tell that he missed his father and that he was a pretty good balance between both Will and Elizabeth in being headstrong.
Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth. An astronomer, she’s feisty, headstrong and very smart. She kind of reminded me of Hermione Granger in that she is led by her logic, and her will to learn even though she’s very brave as well. Of course, women weren’t allowed to study in universities so people call her “witch”. But she’s also looking for the Trident and has her diary of clues that she holds on too, as it holds the secrets AND it was from her unknown father. She’s very different from Elizabeth, she’s less annoying for one thing, she feels modern and definitely not a Mary Sue. She definitely has a hard time believing in anything that can’t be proven by science and maybe a bit bullheaded. I’ve never Kaya Scodelario in anything but I think she’s very charismatic and she does steal my eye away from others sometimes.
Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. The former captain of the Black Pearl and Jack’s rival, though they can be friendly sometimes. He still has his one leg but he has become extremely wealthy. He’s has a fleet of ships, loads of treasure and he’s like a poser, he has fancy clothes, a fancy wig and jewels in his peg-leg. Barbossa is still the same man to be honest, he’s polite but he will try to save his own skin and maybe the lives of his crew so he has to do what he has to do. Geoffrey Rush is still good in this role, he’s not as scary as he was the first time, but a bit more tragic. We learn some things about his history that once they lead up to it, it wasn’t that big of a surprise honestly.
Orlando Bloom as Captain William “Will” Turner.” We know the story of Will, he was a blacksmith turned pirate who ends up transformed into the Captain of the Flying Dutchman in the third film. I love Will and I think this was some his best stuff, it was sad and tragic. He’s cursed to this life and while I’m sure he’s happy because he’s not dead, but it’s easy to tell that he hates it. He wants to be with his family as he doesn’t see them often and he fought for Elizabeth for so long. I actually want to know WHY his face looked all gross and why the ship looked all like it did when Davy Jones was Captain because when he started off as Captain, everything was fine. So something must happened in the last 19 or so years that caused this. I think Orlando Bloom did really well in his two scenes he has, he’s not a leading role but more of a “cameo” but he looks so sad that I needed to know what happened to him.
Other Pirates. Of course Gibbs is back with Kevin McNally in the role, this is the first time we really see him give up on Jack, which was interesting, there are few more returning faces, like the two soldiers turned pirates who seemed to take the place of Pintel and Ragetti from the others. A lot of them are funny and seeing their shenanigans are great.
Paul McCartney as Uncle Jack. He has a nice little cameo, he was actually pretty good and the joke he tells was pretty funny, but it was more funny because of the reaction.
The Opening Scene. The film opens with young Henry who gets out onto the ocean, he makes himself sink and he lands on the Dutchman underwater. Will pulls him back to the top on the ship and they share an emotional moment. I quite liked it. I thought it put into place what to expect for Henry’s character and setting up his motivations in the film so it’s never rocky. It gave me hope for the rest of the movie… but honestly this was probably the best scene in the movie.
The Music. Geoff Zanelli does the music here and it has some hints of Hans Zimmer’s score (which makes sense as Zanelli was a student of Zimmer) as well as the iconic Pirates theme that makes me smile whenever I hear it. In some of the quieter moments it’s nice to hear the soft music playing in the background. Sometimes it sounds eerie and scary and other times when its put on next to fighting scenes it gets me pumped.
The Special Effects. There are a couple of things I’m going to talk about, but this movie has so many great effects that if you saw it in IMAX 3D, I’m sure it would be great to see in the theaters that way.
Salazar, his crew’s look and his ship. So Salazar and his crew are cursed, like with fire. Some of the crew are completely burned away but are only a hand, some have their heads half gone. Salazar himself of course looks the most normal, but parts of his face is like ashes and his hair moves like it’s underwater the entire time. He also has this ooze running out of his mouth the entire time. His ship is also cool as it lifts itself up like a caterpillar.
The Running on the Water. Seeing Salazar’s crew running on the water from underwater was so cool. It reminded me of watching Barbossa’s crew walk underwater in the first film.
The Sharks/Birds. I’m not sure why there are always birds around the ship, but the birds are also cursed and they are burned ashes as well.
Trident’s Island. When we finally get to the island where the Trident is hidden, it’s so beautiful, all the colors.
The Divide/Poseidon’s Tomb. We see a shot in the trailer of the Black Pearl sailing on the edge of a crevice, it’s The Divide and it’s really cool how it looks. The entire tomb has a really interesting look, my only problem is that it takes so long to get there and then we don’t spend enough time there.
The Dialogue/Moments. Not all of it’s funny, but there are some good dialogue bits in there. Jack has some good lines. Some of it’s very witty and while I didn’t think the movie itself wasn’t that funny, a lot of the dialogue was. There were also a few moments that were funny, the movie itself isn’t but there are some great moments, like the guillotine scene.
The Flashback Scene. So of course we get a bit of exposition from Salazar as to why he’s hunting Jack, but we get a flashback to accompany his tale. This is where we see a de-aged Johnny Depp as young Jack Sparrow and I think this was some of the better de-aging lately. There were a few times where it was creepy, mostly when he was talking a lot, but other times it was like looking at Johnny Depp from his 21 Jump Street days. It showed how he became Captain Jack Sparrow while also explaining Salazar’s unfortunate fate. It also has a few throwbacks to the first film in how Jack was a bit more feisty and less of a coward, how he was brash and energetic AND it throws back to when Elizabeth suggests they throw the anchor on the starboard side when they were running from Barbossa. It was pretty cool.
The “romance”. So to be honest, I didn’t really have a problem with it but I can imagine people having some issues with it, but I don’t think it’s warranted. When Henry and Carina first meet, they don’t really get along, we actually see them interact a lot and them get to know each other and learning that they have a lot in common BUT once you see that they were getting interested in each other, it was like ehhh, you need a bit more tim. I didn’t dislike it but I think they needed another movie at least. I didn’t want to make it a con because I don’t think it is but I recognize that it probably wasn’t earned in this film. I liked their interactions but I don’t know if the actors had much chemistry like Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley did.
The Action. There always has to be action, always has to be fights and there are some, and the ones we have are great and fun. They’re not as big and grand as the previous films have been which is fine, but we do get to see a bit more of what’s going on and they’re not overly long and drawn out.
Ending Scene. So after the adventure is over, Henry’s arc/goal is addressed and without spoiling it, it’s a very beautiful scene that made me smile like an idiot.
End Credit Scene. There is an end credit scene at the very end, maybe there will be another one which if it goes the way I’m thinking, maybe there’s hope?
The Bank Robbery Scene. So there is this scene in the beginning once we get to the present. We see a man introducing their new bank and how no one can break into their vault, etc. etc. but Jack and his crew were trying to steal it and it’s really just ridiculous. I know POTC has their over the top moments but I thought that was just silly, I get why it was there because it shows that Jack has lost his “mojo” but the entire time I was like ‘ugh really?’.
The British Navy. Of course the soldiers have to have a role as they constantly pursue pirates and make things hard for everyone. We don’t really spend any time with them like we have with Norrington or Beckett. There’s one guy who is played by David Wenham but he’s really just there as a nuisance and to give Carina, Jack and Henry trouble while in town. It’s annoying actually.
Some stupid details. There are some things that happen that are really stupid. I don’t want to spoil them but there are so many things that I questioned like “why would they do that?” or the idea of everyone always double crossing someone, it’s so tired that I expect it. Also everyone always wants the same thing so they eventually all have to meet each other at some point and fight or something. Also, why does Jack have a thing for Elizabeth? I didn’t like that in the other films (love triangles) and I didn’t want him referencing it in this one because it’s dumb. I also hate that stupid X scar on Jack’s face and that stupid sore… I know why the sore was included but I hate it.
The Humor. I don’t think it’s very funny in terms of the shenanigans. Some of the dialogue is good but I don’t think it’s funny, at least not to me. The father and daughter in my row cracked up a lot but ya know humor is subjective.
Lacking Climax. So the climax comes up and it was a bit boring. A lot of this film reminded me of the first POTC film but the climax made me think of the boring climax of On Stranger Tides and it wasn’t interesting and it also felt rushed.
Too Long/Feels Long. In actuality, this is the shortest of the four films but it feels really long because there isn’t a lot going on there. There are some moments where there are slow moments and it’s dragging. Either they should have filled those moments with something, or cut them out to make it a bit shorter.
Overall, I enjoyed myself in this film. I think it’s better than On Stranger Tides and it harkens back to what made the original trilogy so fun. Trust me, I recognize that Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End are not very good BUT this film tries to go back to what made people love these movies in the first place. Jack Sparrow is much more subdued here, he’s not the lead which I think works well for his character and I think Johnny Depp always does well with this character when he’s not being over the top. Javier Bardem was a great addition, he was eerie and scary and his story was interesting. The additions of Henry and Carina were good additions to the world and it would be interesting to see them in later films, but they definitely need to spend more time together. The effects are great, the music adds layers to the film and there are certain scenes and moments that I really liked. On the other hand, I do think it feels a bit too long, it’s trying to be epic but it doesn’t quite get there, the climax is pretty lame and while the action scenes are fun, there aren’t many of them. The film spends a lot of time on information. There are some stupid details that made it into the script that made me go ‘why did that happen? that’s dumb’. BUT while it won’t be the best film of the summer, it’s still a fun and entertaining ride.
Rating: 2.89 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales? What do you think?
What is your favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Mine is Curse of the Black Pearl.
Let me know in the comment below! Don’t forget to like, comment and follow this blog!