This is easily my favorite Fantastic Beasts and one could say that doesn't say much because its first two are lackluster but this is a confident return to form by David Yates and the whole production. While it still has not reached the heights of the Harry Potter series and even if the titular secrets are not that intriguing nor surprising, overall The Secrets of Dumbledore blends a compelling political espionage with the ever adventurous and beguiling wizarding world. It has the right balance of layered stories from family affairs, legendary wizards and witches that are deep rooted from where everything is based on to new characters and beasts that are indeed fantastic.
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J.K. Rowling's detailed writing is still apparent as this instalment has the vibe of what reading a novel feels like. This time, Newt Scamander and his friends are not solely on the forefront and Dumbledore and his not-entirely-shocking lover Grindelwald take the spotlight. The film revolves around their falling out which fascinatingly branches out to other storyarcs including Credence's family origins, new beasts that are pivotal to the film's climax, and Newt's mission to help defeat the rapidly growing evil force Grindelwald.
Also noteworthy is its parallels to the world's current climate where dangerous people are often triumphant during dangerous times. Yet even with this serious message, the film has returned to its adventurous side, something fans have missed after The Crimes of Grindelwald. The visual effects are wild and playful. The side missions are a combination of dangerous and fun. If only the cast of characters match the charisma of the main Harry Potter series.
Even then, what is most admirable about The Secrets of Dumbledore is it is not entirely a fan service in a sense that it could stand on its own even without nostalgia gimmicks most franchises overuse in their instalments nowadays. There are a lot of stories to hook about. There are a couple of characters and beasts to root for. And there is almost no need to rewatch the first two just to be engaged with this third instalment.