Did someone pull out a “Dumble-snore” joke?
The first reviews are in for Eddie Redmayne’s return as Newt Scamander in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (in theaters Nov. 16). The second of five planned spinoffs written by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling continues building a new universe with its wizard, an emerging villain in Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald and a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).
The reviews noted a new batch of characters and stuffed storylines vying for attention in the sequel from director David Yates, who also helmed the first “Beasts” and the final four of the eight “Harry Potter” films.
Critics strongly preferred the first “Beasts”: The new movie received just 52 percent positive reviews on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 74 percent for the 2016 original.
USA TODAY’s Brian Truitt liked it more than most, calling “Crimes” a darker and bolder film that intertwines different eras of the “Potter” mythology and delivers a more relevant cinematic villain in Depp’s Grindelwald. But he noted that the complex story results in diminished screentime for the core characters.
“Old-school Potterheads will rejoice, though fans of the charmingly quirky group of heroes from the first ‘Beasts’ may lament their do-gooders getting lost in a growing magical landscape,” Truitt wrote.
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