FYI: Spoilers Ahead. Massive, massive spoilers ahead. If you haven't seen The Crimes of Smelly Balls, and you want to, don't read this review!
Also, this is going to be long - so grab a beer (or a pop), a bowl of popcorn maybe, and settle in for a nice read.
You read that post title right: I said movie review! I know, I know, this is a BOOK BLOG - but Y'all, give me some credit - it's a "Wizard World" movie.
If you haven't seen the movie or the trailer, here's a trailer for your, um. laughter and confusion:
Originally, I was not going to see this movie. I was disappointed in the first movie - and then, I uh, watched a bunch of reviews on the youtube from people who hated the Crimes of Grindelwald. And I thought - Gee Do I really want to spend money to see this movie?! But, curiosity and a devout sense of loyalty and love towards the original 7 Harry Potter books got the better of me. So, I went to see this movie.
My reaction? Well...
This movie was confusing and disjointed at best. The movie opens with Grindelwald (or "Grindelwald") being released from what I understand is a jail cell in MACUSA (the Magical Congress of the United States.) Something makes it's way into his cell, blows up, lots of smoke, etc. So, then a few aurors come along, take Grindelwald out of his cell, he's taken away in a carriage, and once he's in this carriage, he manages to pull a con and escape, with his newest follower - this dude:
So, then a bunch of crazy shit happens, okay? We find out through the course of this movie that:
1. Jacob Kowalski DIDN'T FORGET ANYTHING! Remember at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, when Jacob and every other muggle (oh, oh sorry - NOMAG!) in NYC had magical rain fall on them that was supposed to obliviate them?! REMEMBER THAT?!! Yeah, so Jacob comes in, making out with Queenie (we'll get to that in a minute), and Newt sees him and he's so confused. Jacob's explanation is that the magical water only washed away the BAD MEMORIES! He says "I ain't got any bad memories." He has some confusing memories, and some weird memories, but no bad memories so he still knows everything that happens in the first movie.
Now, in case you are new to this whole wizard thing, the definition of obliviate is:
A spell that can erase the memory of someone, partially or completely
So, yeaaaah. Maybe I'm missing something - but I don't see anywhere in that definition that says the obliviate spell only gets rid of bad memories.
2. Credence is still alive. Yes, that Credence:
I mean, I'm not the only one who remembers that moment at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts movie WHEN CREDENCE GOT KILLED BECAUSE HE WAS AN OBSCURIUS RIGHT?!?!?!
Well. I GUESS NOT!
So, Credence is alive. Then he somehow ends up in France in the same circus as Nagini (more on that in the next point!) Passive little Credence is traveling around with this magical circus and keeping tabs on Nagini.
Then, he meets Grindelwald. He seems really enchanted by Grindelwald, because The Big G tells him "Hey I know a secret about your family - if you want to learn it come to my special meeting!" So, resurrected Credence goes to this meeting, then, when all hell breaks loose, he and Grindelwald make their way to Nurmengard, the castle turned prison. And that's where Grindelwald tells Credence (right at the end of the movie) that Credence IS A DUMBLEDORE!
Did you read that?!
Well, here's the thing, yo! Like, G is sitting here like "Hey you're a freaking Dumbledore!" BUT HERE'S THE THING: Kendra Dumbledore died in 1899. Also, during the time when Credence should have been born, Percival Dumbledore was in Azkaban. Sometime in the 1880's until his death after 1890-ish, Percival was in jail. Also, as far as I know, Percival is not an animagus. So, he could not have transformed into an animal to escape and impregnate Kendra again. SO HOW is Credence a Dumbledore?! HOW!!?!?!??!?!?!?!
3. Nagini is an enslaved young Eastern Asian woman who can turn into a snake (against her will. She was born with a curse that turns her into a snake.) Apparently, she is a Maledictus, and this causes her to turn into a snake every night - and eventually, she will turn into a snake permanently! WHAT?!
So, she's part of this circus. She's kept there to show off that she can transform into a snake! Anyway. Let's break this down. Nagini, the snake from the HP series, is a human trapped in a snake's body and then enslaved by Voldemort. In the entire HP series - the entire bloody series - there is not one mention, NOT ONE MENTION, that Nagini is a maledictus. NONE. Nagini was just a fucking snake throughout the entire HP series. So. Now, the Crimes of Grindelwald comes along, and suddenly Nagini was actually a woman who turned into a snake.
Not only that, but she is an enslaved woman of Eastern Asian descent - and I really want Jo Rowling to explain that to me? Because this feels really racist and really continues the trope of the passive Asian woman who is going to do whatever you want, because that's just life.
This whole idea that there is this group of people who are or should be seen as subservient and passive and slaveworthy just because of who they are needs to end. Asian women are not just this group of people who should be treated this way - they are people. They deserve to be treated like they can be empowered and they deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as every other person. This whole point brings me to my next point:
4. Leta LeStrange's mother! Oh boy, her mother. This plot line is an absolute shit storm. I mean, horrible. Okay. So. Leta is this school crush of Newt's that we first heard about in the first Fantastic beasts movie. We learn some shit in this movie that is disturbing at best. It's racist as all get up as well. Leta's dad is at this party. He sees this beautiful woman and he wants her to be his! Like, he's just thinking "I'm gonna just claim that lady because smoking hot." So, instead of doing the normal thing and introducing himself to her, and getting to know her, he casts a spell on her and enchants her, they get hitched, make a baby, and she dies. The Only Reason they were together at all is because he enchanted her to be his - without any consideration to what she wanted and without even talking to her first. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!
They they have Leta, and her mother dies. So, Leta is brought up by this horrible wizard who couldn't even marry a woman for love - and then shortly after Leta's mom dies, her dad goes and has another lady that he marries - and they have a son!
The who situation is so fucked up I can't even! Maybe he would have done the same thing to a white woman, but I doubt it. I really doubt it. Why? Because the woman he marries after Leta's mom dies is white, and even though I don't think they loved each other, I think they were married with no enchantments whatsoever. So, yeah.
5. Minerva McGonagall is in this movie, fully grown and teaching at Hogwarts - even though this movie takes place in 1927, and Minerva McGonagall was not born until 4th October, 1935. Yes, that's right: Minerva McGonagall is such a good witch that she was teaching at Hogwarts before she was even born!
6. Some lady named Bunty, who is Newt's assistant, basically has an orgasm when what splashes on her while Newt is riding one of his magical creatures. Like, y'all I AM NOT JOKING - Newt comes home, yells for Bunty, finds her down in his magically HUGE Basement that has a lake/giant water tank of some sort containing this magical creature:
So, Newt's in the basement. And he tells Bunty she can leave. (Here's Bunty, BTW:)
Anyway, Bunty is getting ready to leave, and Newt hops on his creature and rides around. As he is doing so, he and this creature do a little jump that splashes water all over Bunty, and my hand to the gods, she is standing there as this happens and is moaning as if in the throes of ecstasy. The scene could have given that restaurant orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally a run for its money!
Does your head hurt yet?! Mine does.
But, I have more!
7. Queenie! Okay - so:
Point A. Why did Queenie think it was okay to cast a spell on Jacob to make him fall in love with her?! He already loved her! He would have gone to the ends of the world for her. But no, she cast a spell on him to make him trail her around and get engaged to her, blah blah blah. She wouldn't have needed to do that though.
Point B: WHY would Queenie join Magical Hitler, AKA Slimy Balls? The Big G doesn't believe that muggles and witches/wizards should get married. But we know Queenie supports marriage between magical and non-magical people. So, why would she suddenly be on board with joining the Big G's army?! I just don't believe that she would have - it is inconsistent with her character.
8. The entire title of this movie is: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. FANTASTIC BEASTS! Now, here's what I say: Split this into at least two, maybe three movies. One that talks about Fantastic Beasts and one that talks about the Crimes of Grindelwald.
Basically, this movie was a hot mess. It had so many different plot lines and stories that it was hard to keep track of what was going on, and there were so many plot holes that this did nothing to enhance to wizard world. Nothing. Save your money and watch some other movies instead.
Also, get a new screeenwriter - because Jo is not in her element here. She could do great things with novels - as we've seen in the original 7 HP books. But she's not a screenwriter and that is painfully apparent from this steaming pile of crap of a movie.
Now, If you're in the mood to check out some (rather amusing) reviews of this movie from booktubers and youtuber people, go click on the videos below: