KATE MUIR reviews Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Muggles, grab your Eurostar tickets now, as J.K. Rowling's magic world draws to Paris in a spectacular second episode of the Fantastic Beasts series The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Eddie Redmayne returns as the magytoologist Newt Scamander, again fighting against the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who has world domination and Muggle oppression on his twisted mind.

The film opens with an ingenious escape that places the typical prison breaker firmly in the shadows: a black car apparently drawn by the horses of the Apocalypse, a prisoner under triple wandering protection, a swirling, syrupy mass of heaven and water, a victory for the evil. Yes, Grindelwald is back.

Eddie Redmayne (photo) as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Eddie Redmayne (photo) as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Perfectly played by Johnny Depp, he has a touch of decay and depravity.

His poorly matched eyes – one dark, the other white and red-rimmed – his toothbrush mustaches and his predilection for jackets with military knots really work when he performs a fascist rally on the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Depp & # 39; s hair is a bleached blonde number one, cut with what looks like gel-assisted meringue on top.

That said, the floppy pony of Scamander protrudes like a small coral reef and he shyly hides behind him, bent in his long coat, only really at ease with the magical creatures in his suitcase.

Grindelwald is perfectly played by Johnny Depp (above), who has a touch of decay and depravity

Grindelwald is perfectly played by Johnny Depp (above), who has a touch of decay and depravity

Grindelwald is perfectly played by Johnny Depp (above), who has a touch of decay and depravity

It is 1927 and the Department of Magic tries to send Scamander to France to find Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who almost destroyed New York with his Obscurus parasite in the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Faith is looking for its own roots, but without success, and Grindelwald gets him inside.

Sometimes you feel like you need a doctorate in Potter Studies to follow the film. Listen carefully, and Rowling's script spells it all out, sometimes with difficulty.

But without going into spoiler territory, Newt & # 39; s brother Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) arrives with his fiancée Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz), who has a key role to play.

Another new attraction is Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore, who has a twinkle in his eyes and a natively three-piece tweedpak. Dumbledore is not yet a headmaster of Hogwarts, but works as a Defense Defense against the Black Arts professor.

Another new attraction in the second episode of the Fantastic Beasts series is Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore

Another new attraction in the second episode of the Fantastic Beasts series is Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore

Another new attraction in the second episode of the Fantastic Beasts series is Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore

He convinces Scamander to search for credibility, because there is something mysterious in his previous life as a schoolboy in Hogwarts, which he himself fights Grindelwald.

Scamander also has his own agenda: his undying love for Tina Goldstein, an American & # 39; auror & # 39; (played by a chic Katherine Waterston) who – what do you think? – has also appeared on the same quest in Le Ministère des Affaires Magiques de la France.

For the last time, things did not go well with Tina and Newt, and now his nervous disability stops him. He wants to tell her that she & # 39; the eyes of a salamander & # 39; has, some may not take as a compliment.

The fantastic beasts are abundant and peculiar: a seaweeded Kelpie, who rides Scamander underwater; a Zouwu Chinese Dragon weave; and the baby Nifflers, mole-platypus lookalikes with the habit of stealing the silver. Keep an eye on the little black Niffler …

The combination of an adorable creaturefest and the frightening rise of magical fascism is a remarkable cocktail, but the pure inventiveness of Rowling's world will be just as tempting as ever for her fans.

The film opens on November 16th.

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