Laidback Movie Reviews: ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

* Claire Foy is great in everything (witness her dramatic turns in First Man and The Crown), including this. A shame the script leaves her little to work with.
* Abundant cliches and criminally poor use of the Millenium series’ usually prominent supporting characters makes this movie more pedestrian than it should have been. If I have to see another movie with an all powerful device that controls all nuclear missiles (or alternatively, some other ridiculous deus ex machina device, like something that controls all of the internet or every cappuccino machine in the world), I’ll scream.
* There are a few good action sequences—the “sniping through walls” scene was tense and well done.
* The trailer gave away the main villain, something I really hate. The “family member assumed long dead is the bad guy” cliche is really overused. Any attempt to explore the more subtle and hard hitting character issues are quickly pushed aside to drive forward the average plot.

Rating: C-

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

* J K Rowling demonstrates she’s a wonderful author who’s still learning how to write screenplays. Better pacing, editing and less exposition would be nice; movies are a different medium to books and need to engage the audience in other ways. This film is more world building and set up for the rest of the series, rather than a movie in itself.
* Nice to see Hogwarts again.
* Great special effects and action set pieces. Some welcome character development for Newt and the supporting characters.
* Paradoxically, I enjoyed this one more than the first Fantastic Beasts movie. It makes me want to see the next in the series, so I guess it succeeded in what it set out to do.

Rating: C+

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