I must confess that before I saw this movie I read several non-spoiler reviews online.  It seems that critics and audiences alike were split on whether this movie should get a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  Many stated that there were too many new characters to follow.  Many loved the beasts and the appearance of the movie.  Many grumbled that it wasn’t true to the canon of the Potter movies. Many thought it was fantastic.  Many didn’t like that its focus wasn’t Newt.

I definitely understand all their positions so I base my rating on this simple question.  How well did I enjoy the movie?  Well, I enjoyed it well enough to give it 4 solid Icees!  The cinematography is magnificent. The story, although very difficult to follow at times, continues the story started in the first Beasts movie, with some tie-ins to the future that will be the Potter movies.

There are indeed new characters to follow (although I think “several” is not really accurate).  The story doesn’t focus solely on Newt and you know what?  That’s ok.  This isn’t “Newt Scamander and the Chase of Grindelwald”.  This isn’t the Harry Potter movies where everything revolved around him.  To me this is better.  This is a story unfolding that involves Newt and his three comrades from the first movie but doesn’t center on them.  It centers more on the events going on around them.  This movie advances a story that will take us through 5 movies (so there’s 3 more to go).  It doesn’t resolve the story and I don’t consider that a spoiler because it’s going to be over FIVE movies so of course everything isn’t going to be solved in movie number two.

So if I enjoyed this movie so much, how come I stopped at 4 Icees?  First, I did have difficulty following the movie at times.  Perhaps it’s because I never got immered in Potter lore.  Perhaps it’s because I didn’t memorize the Potter movies (the first two or three of which should have been titled, “Harry Potter And The Bad Actors”).  I don’t know.  I don’t think so.  To me it was more of a case that sometimes the dialog was so fast it was difficult to follow.  Or perhaps because sometimes they spoke so softly and/or the music or background noise in the film was so loud it was difficult to hear.  In any event, I think to truly get “everything” from this movie, I’ll probably need to see it again (which I undoubtedly will).

I think that those that loved the Potter books and/or movies will enjoy this a lot.  Even though I didn’t “love” those movies, I did enjoy this movie quite a bit… even if they did lose me at times.

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