Review: “Secrets of Dumbledore” Revives the Magic

By Amy Daniels, Current Staff

After a large amount of hype and advertising, the third installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise was released April 15, to surprisingly weak box-office numbers.

That’s a shame.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” which stars Jude Law, Mads Mikkelsen and Eddie Redmayne, is something I honestly never knew I needed in the Wizarding World universe. 

The events take place in the midst of an election that plays a very significant role in the story, and the idea of maneuvering around everything happening in the background is fascinating. The heart and soul of the story is clearly the relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, and this shines through in every moment focusing on that.

The whole cast is amazing, and the actors all fit the roles so well. Mads Mikkelsen is incredible, portraying Grindelwald with absolute ease. As existing fans of the franchise know, Johnny Depp was the original Grindlewald, but he lost the role due to a personal situation. Mikkelsen is an excellent replacement, and many even agree he is better than Depp was. 

Jude Law is once again great as Dumbledore. His character is emotionally connectable and feels grounded. Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, the character meant to bring humor to the story, is great as always. Eddie Redmayne is good and does what was asked of him. His last few moments in the movie are beautiful. The rest of the cast are good as well.

The adventure aspect of this film really works this time around. It’s interesting to see what different characters do and how their actions have an impact on the story. The humor also especially feels natural for the majority of the movie.

The music is solid, and the visuals are spectacular; the final battle looks absolutely phenomenal, and I genuinely felt the stakes.

The whole movie is good, but the third act is amazing, and it worked perfectly for me. The last 10 minutes are warm and emotional. The Harry Potter references really topped the movie off and were so nice to see.

Overall, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” is pretty engaging and the screenplay is a lot better than the second movie. As someone who is not a big fan of the second film, I think the third is a good addition to the series.

I am not saying this movie is flawless. It has a few issues such as some weak action sequences and a few pacing issues in the second act.There is also little depth to a few of these characters, especially looking at Callum Turner’s Theseus Scamander, the main character’s brother, or Jessica Williams’ Lally, who should be an empowering female character.

And of course, there are always going to be a handful of reasons why this series is unable to match the original Harry Potter films, even with the same director who made a few of those films, including “The Order of the Phoenix” and both parts of “Deathly Hallows.”

But as a fan of Harry Potter, I am just happy that this universe is expanding in a decent and fun way, placing lots of emphasis on Dumbledore growing as a character. 

All fans of the franchise, if they haven’t already, should definitely go see this series. It adds so much extra character and spice to the Wizarding World. But before you go out to see “The Secrets of Dumbledore,” whether you’ve seen the first movies or not, make sure you watch those two before going to the new one. It’ll definitely help you follow the plot.

(Images are official promotional material.)

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