That’s the last time we’ve had a Fantastic Beasts film in cinemas. A lot can happen in four years (and has). Four years ago, around the same time the second movie was released, I tore a ligament in my right ankle by falling down the stairs at the theatre and had to be on crutches for weeks.
Did that stop me from seeing the latest Fantastic Beasts movie? Nope. You bet I rolled my way into IMAX in a wheelchair to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Thankfully, this time around, I could walk just fine and managed to catch a special screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
Although it is not necessary to rewatch the entire Harry Potter film franchise, before I begin, I must advise that there is no way you’re going to properly follow and understand Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore without rewatching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, first. Even if you’ve seen them already years ago, I strongly insist that you rewatch both films before seeing this new one. Watching the third instalment without recapping the previous two movies will only hinder your experience and your enjoyment of this film. You have been warned.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore continues a year after the events of the second film. Credence (Ezra Miller) has beautiful long black hair, Queenie (Alison Sudol) has sided with Gellert Grindelwald, our favourite muggle Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) is heartbroken, Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) is still an Auror but now painfully single, Bunty (Victoria Yeates) is still Newt’s bubbly assistant, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) is as dapper as ever, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is forbidden from travelling internationally. Nevertheless, Dumbledore has a mission for Newt and his friends to try being one step ahead of Grindelwald’s plans.
Now, I know what you’re all thinking. A new Gellert Grindelwald again, hey? But seriously, Mads Mikkelsen plays the superior version of this character. Easily slipping into the role like he had always been there, Mikkelsen’s performance in Secrets of Dumbledore is solid, suave, and intimidating as hell. His chemistry with Jude Law on-screen and their energy exchange is almost hypnotic, Mikkelsen holding his own amongst his fellow fiercely talented cast members.
I also thoroughly enjoyed that this time around, some characters who had been present from the beginning of the franchise have more prominent roles to play in Secrets of Dumbledore, which in turn provides more character development, bonding, and growth between our favourite characters.
If you had been concerned about the franchise from seeing the last instalment back in 2018, you’d need not fear. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the strongest contender of the current trilogy (well, until the other two movies are released) and is the glue that successfully holds the franchise together. The humour from the first film returns in full force while also bringing with it the intensity and plot-driven mystery of the second film. Yes, magic is back, the costuming and make-up is stunning, our favourite magical creatures make wonderful appearances, and everything you guessed about the intensity between Grindelwald and Dumbledore’s relationship is probably true and is also possibly just the beginning.
There’s so much beauty and emotion to unravel with Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Watching this film felt like going on a journey that I just didn’t want to end. And the best part is, I couldn’t predict anything. This film kept me guessing, held me on the edge of my seat, and honestly, it’s been a long time since a film has taken me by surprise.
Needless to say, I loved it. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a must-see experience for all Wizarding World fans. I’m excited for what the rest of the franchise has to offer, and while we wait, I am absolutely going to see this film on the big screen again.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is in cinemas from April 7.