Run time: 134 mins
The world created by JK Rowling has no problem carrying on without the boy wizard; and this – the second of five(!) – is where things start to get a little complicated.
Newt Scamander, the awkward and timid magizoologist played by Eddie Redmayne, helped capture the shape-shifting wizard Grindelwald (Colin Farrell in the last one, Johnny Depp in this one) but he doesn’t stay imprisoned for long. Grindelwald is up to his old tricks trying to ensure the dominance of pure-blood wizards over humans with racist rallies. Newt gets a surprise visit from a young Prof. Dumbledore; a canny, charismatic Jude Law who gives our hero an impossible mission, if he decides to accept it: go to Paris and end the Grindelwald menace.
Remember how the Star Wars prequels suffered from contrived exposition and needlessly convoluted plotting? Well, Rowling doesn’t have the same mastery of the screen as she does the page, and as a result this messy instalment mirrors George Lucas’ attempts to tell a compelling narrative. However, when the dazzling set pieces kick in, there are pockets of magic to be found. (Jack Whiting) Well done Jack, not so the film? Fear not. JK fans will know how to undo plots-knots.