Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald

Rated 2.0

Why can’t J.K. Rowling just take her billions, buy an island somewhere and retire? Must she keep writing? She has forgotten (or never understood) that what made the Harry Potter books great wasn’t all the magic or monsters or Voldemort, it was Harry and Hermione and Ron. Her script here is the worst thing she’s ever written—incomprehensible if you haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (or even if you have), saddling the actors with endless pages of indigestible exposition, an inert, lifeless set-up for the next movie (with, God help us, two more scheduled after that). As if the stagnant story weren’t bad enough, the series is burdened with the reptilian presence of Eddie Redmayne as its so-called hero; he’s like one of his own fantastic beasts, and a poor substitute for Daniel Radcliffe.