MOVIE REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Is A Fantastic Return to The Wizarding World Franchise
It has been six years since 2012's Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them debuted, expanding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to places talked about but to that point unseen. While Fantastic Beasts introduced us to Newt Scamander (played brilliantly by Eddie Redmayne), the author of the aforementioned book used in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, 2018's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald brought us deeper into the backstory of the beloved Professor Albus Dumbledore. While some critics thought that the second entry was too bogged down by plot and exposition, it's clear after watching Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, that exposition was needed to fling the remaining films forward with more action, more fantastic beasts and more drama. In fact, the exposition from The Crimes of Grindelwald allow The Secrets of Dumbledore to jump right into the action and soar to new heights.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore follows Professor Dumbledore as he asks Newt Scamander to lead a team of witches and wizards to go up against Gellert Grindelwald, as he moves to use evil ways to take control of the Wizarding World. Jude Law triumphs as Dumbledore, truly expanding his character emotionally as well as helping fill out his characters history. Eddie Redmayne perfectly captures the shy, awkwardness of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, while retaining a lovable but brave demeanor. Dan Folger as Jacob Kawolski is yet again a highlight, bringing comic relief and a heart of gold to his integral character. Jessica Renee Williams shines as the (long overdue) first person of color to lead in a Wizarding World film. Her Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks is a refreshing delight, bringing a certain, erm, charm, to her role as a Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Charm teacher.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore expands the Wizarding World, taking us East to China, while introducing us to an entire world of wizards, witches and magical creatures. While we truly get a grasp of just how big the Wizarding World is through the numerous Wizards and Witches we meet, there's also no shortage of magical creatures. In fact, as in the previous two entries, the fantastic beasts are once again an integral part of the plot, although I won't spoil that for you here. You will see some returning favorites and you just may have a new favorite or two as well.
If you love any part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, from the books to the films to either of the previous Fantastic Beasts films, you will love Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. With it's immensely likable cast of talented actors, to its world building, to getting to see the backstory of our beloved Professor Dumbledore, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a magical ride you don't want to get off of.
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