Even with a very capable cast, director David Yates isn’t able to turn what feels like a chapter rather than a movie into anything more than a cliff hanger.
It is somewhat out of Yates’ hands as we see numerous characters passing in and out of the script, creating some solid action stunts but also providing a measure of confusion. The plot is so full it is diminished. Eddie Redmayne returns as Newt Scamander who travels from 1927 NYC to London and then Paris accompanied by his Niffler (a platypus like creatures) who travels in his luggage and plays an effective role in the plot. The secret entrance in Paris is located in a mobile statue in a section of Paris just below the church of the Sacred Heart.
In the opening scene in which Grindelwald (Johny Deep) masterminds and exciting escape using a flying stagecoach, which looks like a horse drawn hearse. The scene is made for 3D action and it works well establishing the strength of action scenes we are about to see.
The chase to control Grindelwald is diluted by tangent episodes, some of which are interesting and others which appear to be fillers to stretch the story. At the same time Credence (Ezra Miller) is the major center of the film, no matter what the title. He is searching for his mother with the help of his girl friend Nagini (Claudia Kim), who can turn herself into a deadly giant snake.
Also in the plot is Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) the fiancé of successful big brother Theseus Scamander. She becomes more important to the plot as time passes. But the battle to capture and control Grindelwald fills much of the action in the film. Not to leave out Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) who were most important in the first film. We could use more of them in this episode.
Eventually there is a massive showdown and Newt Scamander and Gellert Grindelwald battle to the end, but only enough to set up the next film.