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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore  (DVD)


Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Mads Mikkelson, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, Richard Coyle, Jessica Williams, Victoria Yeates, Katherine Waterston

Director: David Yates

There's an impressive variety of the eponymous beasts on show in this third episode in the franchise, especially the voracious scorpion-like creatures who imitate their victim's moves, thus providing a means of escape from their clutches.

Otherwise there's little on display here that offers anything we haven't seen before. Johnny Depp may have got the chop after the second film, but Grindelwald is still on the loose, personified by Mikkelson, recycling his Le Chiffre from Casino Royale.

Now, absolved from his previous crimes (don't ask), he plans to take over leadership of the Wizarding World, helped by an army of assorted goons and beautiful women. And it's up to Dumbledore (a subdued Law) - there's a brief glimpse of him at Hogwart's - Newt Scamander, Newt's brother (Turner), Jake (Fogler), whisked again from his Brooklyn bakery, and a few trusty allies.

Redmayne is back as Newt, cocking his head as usual and speaking from the side of his mouth. 'That's what matters - trying' he tells his cohorts - and trying is the word for this dull performance, but I guess we're stuck with it now.

Special effects are often spectacular, but the story is quite slow at times in between its blazing action scenes, Grindelwald lives to fight another day (of course he does), Dumbledore comes out as gay, there's a strung-out ending and no scene after the credits. Difficult to see how the franchise can develop further, but I'm sure they'll find a way.

David Quinlan

USA/UK/Canada/Germany 2022. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour (unspecified).
136 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 30 May 2022