This is a Quickie.
Where I spill my thoughts almost right after seeing a film. Unedited, unresearched, and undeniably a bit lazy.
It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a movie where I was so impressed and fascinated by the characters, the lore, the actors, and… still be so disappointed by it.
The movie is incredibly frustrating because it feels like they had everything to make a great movie except for having a decent screenplay.
In fact, the plot (perhaps also the fault of the director or the editor) was such a mess during the second act and the third act that it completely ruined the film for me because the story just became incoherent.
It’s like a really bad episode of Scooby-Doo with wizards, melodrama, with a hint of daytime soap opera.
Am I the biggest fan of Harry Potter?
No. I just grew up with it. Forced to read the first one to learn English. Then enjoyed the rest as I got older with my friends.
But I shouldn’t have to be a Potterhead or even a lore-buff to enjoy a film. And to be frank, I’m not sure how even the most fervent fans could call this a decent movie when they are actually honest with themselves.
There are parts of this movie that are just factually bad. Poor editing, forced exposition, nonsensical plot points, literal plot devices, throwaway fan service characters, and etc.
Maybe the problem was that the movie just wasn’t long enough at little over 2 hours. The movie feels like a supercut of a miniseries. It feels like it never had enough time to fully tell us the story. Characters are underdeveloped… or suddenly overdeveloped. During the third act of the film, there are terrible jump cuts and sequence of events that just makes the movie feels like its riddled with plot holes at best and movie just realizing the mess it’s in and not giving a flying witch’s f@#$ at worst.
That Asian character (I purposefully do not mention her name in kind with how much the film valued her) does nothing but look sad. She just walks around with the aura of teenage-Evanescence-depression and fannnnnserrrrvice.
Y’all thought her turning into a snake was a bad thing?
Y’all too sensitive.
Y’know what I’m offended by? Just badly written characters that end up being an accessory. Accessory to the plot. Accessory to the future plans of the filmmakers and the studio. It’s just a little ironic that she’s an Asian character that feels as if she was added to make the cast even more diverse but as the only real Asian representation, she’s essentially the handbag to the white male.
Again, I don’t think it’s a racial issue but a poor writing issue. And just a bit exasperated by the fact that movie was very much attempting to be diverse and feeling that it’s failing an aspect of that in the most ironic way of deducing a particular race and gender combination to what it tends to be in film and TV.
It’s a bit sad that I have to clarify that.
And the worst part of it all?
I feel like this could have been a spectacular adventure of a film.
The film starts like a modern action flick with Grindelwald bustin’ out.
Grindelwald is a compelling villain at his core. His ideas present some natural questions and problems we all had with the series.
Newt is a great protagonist that also balances well with Grindelwald and the world around him.
I found Jacob and Queenie’s dilemma compelling (and disappointed that after the setup of their plot, the script essentially puts them on autopilot).
But there’s no real pay off to any of this.
And for the great “mystery” the film was building up?
It ends with a “Scooby-Doo” moment where everything just told. With a bunch of super convenient plot devices (some of them literal devices and some of them out of nowhere) that tries to explain overly complicated tangled web of scenarios.
Look, I was really enjoying the movie for the first 10~15 min of it so it was just that much more disappointing when the rest of it sucked so much.
I give it:
It felt like a screenwriter for films, not TV miniseries or a novelist, should have written this.
A case of perhaps a lawyer who shouldn’t have defended himself. I have no doubts that if Ms. J. K. Rowling could be a fantastic screenwriter eventually as she is an incredible storyteller.
But, for me, undoubtedly, even with all of its other problems, nothing really broke the film as much as the screenplay did.
My Audiobook is coming out soon.
Be on the lookout for that announcement.