Family trees bear poisonous fruit and their roots run deeper than any ardent fan of the wizard world of J.K. Rowling might have dared to dream in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, writes Damon Smith.

Written for the screen by the best-selling author, David Yates's sequel continues to expand and enrich mythologies beyond the wonder years of Harry Potter and his Hogwarts alumni.

Not by accident, the impassioned pureblood rhetoric spouted by dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) dances to the same divisive drums as US President Donald Trump's controversial nationalism.

In an exhilarating opening set-piece, Grindelwald stages a breathless escape from the custody of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) led by President Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo).

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald builds robustly and stylishly on the first film to test the frayed resolves of flawed characters, some of whom have already lost so much.

As she proved in the two-part stage production Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Rowling knows how to satisfy fans without shamelessly pandering to them.

The script skilfully acknowledges her magical canon - scenes at Hogwarts briefly reveal a young and flinty Minerva McGonagall (Fiona Glascott) - as she drops narrative bombshells with laser-targeted precision toloud gasps.

Redmayne endears us even more to his socially awkward loner as he brandishes a wand in the name of creatures great and monstrous.

Yates's prelude to all-out-war is spellbinding.