IT: Chapter Two

Review of Chapter One can be found here.

Rating: 15

Release: 6.9.2019

Length: 2hr 49

About: Defeated by members of the Losers’ Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of Derry, Maine, once again. Now adults, the childhood friends have long since gone their separate ways. But when people start disappearing, Mike Hanlon calls the others home for one final stand. Damaged by scars from the past, the united Losers must conquer their deepest fears to destroy the shape-shifting Pennywise — now more powerful than ever.

The Good

  • As with Chapter One, the casting is faultless. Not only are the adults perfect in and of themselves, they’re scarily perfect for the grown up versions of the youngsters.
  • Special mention has to go to Bill Hader as Richie. I was so very excited to see him cast and he really did a wonderful job stealing every single scene he’s in. What I love about comedians like Hader is that while people see him as the joker, he’s actually very well equipped to bring the drama. For me, IT has done for Hader what the likes of Awakenings, Insomnia and 24 Hour Photo did for Robin Williams.
  • Jessica Chastain was, certainly in my mind, a risky casting choice. Well, it was certainly one that paid off. She is able to bring us the duality that Sophia Lillis initially presented us with and show a growth of character within Chapter Two.
  • The change in time setting is almost mute when we get the adults. Yes, we’ve lost the nostalgic references but it does make that opening scene a little more haunting. I’m so very glad this scene was kept.
  • I love the ongoing commentary about Bill’s stories not having great endings as perhaps an ironic note to the ending of IT itself. Which also lends itself to the film’s best Easter egg that is one par with a Stan Lee appearance.

The Bad

  • Max Headroom visuals are back and some of the scares intended from Pennywise are lost on me because of this. Again, it’s more the music than the visuals that give me the scares which is a shame as visually, Pennywise is incredible.
  • You have Bill Skarsgård who is exceptional in the role, there’s no doubt about that. There’s a manipulative charm there that festers and creeps under the skin, but everything the actor can build up is scuppered by the CGI and wobbly background that draws your eyes away.

The Ugly

  • The presentation of the interweaving timelines is rather too clunky for me. Unfortunately, due to memory loss being a major plot device I’m not certain there’s another way of making Part Two without the help of the younger counterparts.
  • The film certainly transitioned well between timelines, however I find it treads too much on top familiar ground from Part One. Perhaps if there was overlap of the actors in the previous outing, it wouldn’t stand out so much but I guess we’ll never know.

Final Thoughts

The filmmakers did an incredible job with a difficult source material. It has its faults and probably won’t be something I return to any time soon. However, it is a much-watch for Hader’s performance alone.

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