The Secrets of Dumbledore exposed: with more plots than beasts

The third Fantastic Beasts movie is a miss with fans, critics and beasts alike


“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is the third and newest film in the wizarding world’s franchise and by far the worst. The film had too many characters and plots, but at least succeeded in the magical animals department. When the characters deemed that “no plan” and “confusion” is the best plan, it certainly left me and everyone else confused.

The previous movie, “Crimes of Grindelwald,” left us with a cliffhanger that one would think would help propel this movie in the right direction. In reality, “Secrets of Dumbledore” made $43 million in its opening weekend compared to its predecessor “Crimes of Grindelwald” which made $62 million, according to Forbes Magazine. This movie has become enough of a bust to wonder if Warner Bros. will still continue through with its plan to make this a five movie series. 

Honestly, the start of the problem may have been my high expectations. I was left on edge by “Crimes of Grindelwald” with Queenie joining Grindelwald, wanting to learn more of Newt and his brother’s (Theseus) relationship, Leta Lestrange’s death (fiancée to Theseus) exploring Tina and Newt’s relationship, and of course the past history with Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

I do think the main issue with the movie is that there are simply too many characters with too many intertwining relationships. Executed well, having several characters and learning about them and their pasts can be brilliant. Queenie, for example, has special abilities and her denounced relationship with Jacob led her to Grindelwald. There was so much potential to have a self-conflicting character and pit her against her own sister and Jacob. Yet, we see her and Jacob come back together after what I believe is no concluding resolution. Where was the character arc? In the span of five minutes, they were on opposing sides, then Queenie was back on Newt’s side. If Queenie had been in a position where she had to choose between Jacob and Grindelwald, that would have made her a far more interesting character. 

Needless to say, since there are so many characters and they continue trying to add and develop even more, many characters’ stories are pushed to the side. Think Nagani who was cut entirely out of this movie. I suppose that we did get a new character, Professor Lally Hicks, who added so very much to the plot. 

Credence, on the other hand, is also a perfect example of characters being pushed to the side, given that the previous movie’s entire goal was centered on him trying to learn more about his family. We did learn more about his family in this film: (spoiler) his father is revealed to be Aberforth Dumbledore, Albus Dumbledore’s brother.

This revelation was a surprise, to say the least. I did not hate their decision; in fact, if Grindelwald had been lying from the beginning about Credence’s heritage it would have made it very confusing for the audience. Also, we know barely anything about Aberforth and his past, so why not. Aberforth now has a son. If Albus had been Credence’s father I might have started a riot, but Aberforth having a child is not completely unsensible?

Ignoring that Credence is now Dumbledore’s nephew, let’s look on the bright side of the movie. “Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore” has now officially confirmed their first gay character in the Harry Potter franchise (it only took 30 years). Unfortunately, it was not between the main characters and it was a “long lost” love, but who’s counting.

We got some lovely cameos from classic Harry Potter characters like Minerva ​​McGonagall (even though in the books she is not born yet, but again, who’s counting). Dumbledore is still teaching defense against the dark arts at Hogwarts even though he taught transfiguration. Newt and Tina are probably a thing, still not 100% sure after three movies. Tina’s few minutes of screen time did make it hard to decipher (there is not a clear reason as to why she was absent). The movie ended with a wedding, though (congrats to Jacob and Queenie), maybe the marriage license was issued by England because the whole reason why Queenie left for Grindelwald was because it was illegal to marry a No-mag (muggle).

I was also hoping to watch a massive duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, along with the scene where Dumbledore gets the elder wand. We got a “duel” but I wished it was still cooler. Alas, that moment is probably being saved for the last movie. There better be at least one more movie so I can see Grindelwald and Dumbledore fight and potentially destroy a city in the process. Also, Dumbledore is a “pure soul” now even though he will knowingly endanger children in the future. 

Even though this movie was a rather large failure, I have hope that Warner Bros. will make at least one more movie (if they do not, it will look very bad for their marketing). Hopefully, that one (at least one) movie can save Newt and the nifflers.


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