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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Your neighborhood Cinephile on the prowl for the latest cinematic delights

The third installment in the Wizarding World spinoff series is a discernable improvement over its predecessor, but is ultimately uneventful and passionless. Although structurally more solid and narratively composed, the film lacks intensity and spirit. This stems from the rudimentary manner the story unfolds coupled with uninspired plotting. There seems to be no urgency or necessity to what transpires. This hampers the overall impact of this stunted magical fantasy. There may have existed a potentially better film, but the creative choices of the filmmakers sullied it. The movie is somewhat redeemed by its watchability, balanced tone and levity. This is assisted by a group of capable actors who ably inhabit their roles.

As a viewer, I relished the connective links between this film and the Harry Potter series. However, in drawing parallels I only disappointed myself. Whatever spark of magic and fascination that once burned red hot has long since cooled.

Fine performances, convincing visual effects and some impressively assembled sequences do make this a moderately entertaining piece of cinema. However, the heady heights of the Harry Potter series appear beyond reach.


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