Why “The Secrets of Dumbledore” Fails at Storytelling

3 Reasons why Fantastic Beasts 3 was disappointing, and how you can avoid similar story issues in your own screenplays.


I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.

Still, Fantastics Beasts 2 was incoherent at times.

The newest installment, The Secrets of Dumbledore, was a disappointment.

My gripes with this story fall into three categories:

  • Context
  • Stakes
  • Payoff

If you’ve already seen the film or don’t care about spoilers, watch the video above. If you want the spoiler-free version, read below.

© Warner Bros.

Lack of Context

Important story element ain’t explained enough.

I’m all in favor of expecting more out of movie-going audiences and not dumbing things down, but there’s a difference between proper exposition and an information dump. It’s almost as if the storytellers eschewed the former to avoid the latter, and the film becomes confusing because of it.

Lack of Stakes

We don’t know characters’ motivations, or what’s at stake for them if they fail to accomplish their missions. There are some vague goals given, but the deeper character aspects are usually glossed over or ignored completely.

© Warner Bros.

Not only do I not care, but I don’t know why the characters care. This is a terrible issue with the film, and it makes the climax lackluster.

Lack of Payoff

The insufficiency of the two previous elements makes this issue even worse. Many subplots are resolved with little effort, or are closed due to coincidence…