In 2016 Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them ended with Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Dep) being arrested by the Magical Congress of The United States of America (MACUSA). The sequel, again directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlelwald begins with Grindlelwald escaping from years of solitary confinement in a dazzling scene involving a flying carriage.

Grindelwald’s plan, as it was in the first movie, is to rebel against the non-wizards and to do that he needs to find Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) who after having destroyed half of New York in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them has sulked off to Paris where he has become a prisoner of Circus Arcanus.

In London Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is approached by Albus Dumbledore (Jude law) and asked by him to track down Grindlewald, Dumbledore tells Newt that he’s unable to do it himself because of his past connections to Grindlewald. When Newt asks him if they were blood brothers Dumbledore replies that they “were more than that”.

It’s obvious from the beginning that Rowling intends Beasts narrative to be darker and more adult focused than Harry Potter, a baby is killed at the very beginning and it sets the tone for the dark story that’s to follow.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald builds from its prequel, past characters return, MACUSA agent Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson) is also on the hunt for Grindlewald, whilst her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) is still romantically linked with non-wizard Jacob (Dan Fogler). New characters are introduced, one of the main ones being Newt’s former sweetheart – who we only saw in a photograph in the previous movie- Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz).

Rowling throws in a number of narrative twists, a subplot involving missing babies becomes somewhat confusing and might demand a second viewing to make any sense of it.

Director Yates again brings the Fantastic Beasts magical world to the screen in breath-taking detail, the special effects are again amazing and demand to be seen on the biggest screen possible and in 3D.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald takes a very dark and unexpected turn and won’t be for everyone, if you’re going to see it as a stand-alone movie having never seen it’s prequel, there’s a good chance that the story will lose you, it’s hard to fathom out some of the subplots even if your well acquainted with what’s went before.

With Rowling promising three more movies it’s going to be a long time before we get to the end of Newt Scamander’s story and that, on the evidence of the first two, can’t be a bad thing.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (12A)

2h 14m

Director: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Jude Law, Johnny Depp

UK Release: Friday 16th November 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald - Featurette 1

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald - Featurette 2