Fantastic Beasts 3 Reviews Praise Mads Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald – But Not Much Else

Reviews for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore are beginning to broomstick their way in, and it appears to be a middling-to-negative affair for the third Harry Potter spinoff.

While many reviewers praise Mads Mikkelsen for his turn as Gellert Grindelwald, having replaced Johnny Depp from the prior movie, the overall consensus appears to be that The Secrets of Dumbledore is another disappointing entry in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Peter Debruge, Variety: "Well, here we are, three movies into Rowling’s convoluted big-screen prequel saga, and the series once again feels like work, only this time, the resulting pleasures will strike audiences quite differently, depending on your level of dedication to the franchise... Johnny Depp is out, but his character, Gellert Grindelwald, has grown more powerful than ever. Now played by Mads Mikkelsen (without addressing the switch) in a more grounded, less cartoonishly menacing vein, Grindelwald is determined to instigate a world war at roughly the same time that a certain Nazi was elected chancellor of Germany."

Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter: "Compared with the previous two films, Secrets of Dumbledore feels more like a Harry Potter film than a Fantastic Beasts one. While a few magical creatures make appearances — one is even central to Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s plans — they are by no means the anchor. This installment revolves around Dumbledore, a more interesting character than the series’ purported hero, Newt. That shift focuses the film’s narrative, but it doesn’t do much for those of us trying to figure out the purpose of the series."

William Bibbiani, TheWrap: "We’re hardly a minute into The Secrets of Dumbledore before — for the first time, over a quarter of a century since the publication of the first Harry Potter novel, and years after Rowling said so — Dumbledore confirms out loud that he’s queer. He states this in no uncertain terms to his arch-rival, Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen), by saying he’s been in love with him. It’s an entirely chaste love, reciprocated only by a twinkle in Mikkelsen’s eye (reminiscent of his earlier turn as a cannibal serial killer in Hannibal), but the film treats it like little more than a plot point."

Kate Erbland, IndieWire: "The series has never been able to effectively marry its disparate threads — the wondrous joy of an entire taxonomy of magical creatures (delightful!) and the simmering darkness of a world divided (heavy!) — and that tension is even more pronounced in this third film. Grindelwald wants nothing less than a world war that pits the magical against the Muggles (gee, I wonder who will win), and the film’s reliance on Nazi-heavy imagery, like a series of marches in Berlin and the rise of a nefarious leader backed by frothing crowds, is far from entertaining."

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore arrives in theaters April 15.

Source: Various

Robin Cousin
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