IT: Chapter Two is directed by Andy Muschietti. The kids from Chapter One, now grown up, have returned to Derry, Maine 27 years later to put an end to the demonic Pennywise.
I really enjoyed IT: Chapter One. I loved the young cast, the direction was slick, and it felt like a triumphant portrayal of conquering fear. Andy Muschietti has returned to helm the (near) three-hour sequel and, despite some flagrant missteps,
Chapter Two wraps up the Pennywise saga with enough heart that reminded me of why I enjoyed these characters so much in the first place. It’s a decent if flawed sequel. Speaking of which, let’s address the downsides.
This movie is disappointingly short on scares, namely in that there’s no mystique or subtlety to any of the supernatural elements or Pennywise himself. Entities that appear creepy in the shadows appear entirely without the fear factor because of how explicitly they show themselves.
In one moment, Beverly is conversing with a creepy old lady who reveals herself to be a lanky stomping monster but the trailer doesn’t show what she looks like. In the movie, her full form is laughable. So many of the scares are laughable and weak because the CGI is pretty bad, it can be difficult to take the imagery seriously because I didn’t believe that the things I’m meant to be scared of were there. Because of that misstep in direction, it creates a plausibility issue that should’ve been inspected more.
The other big issue is the run time. It’s 2 hours and 49 minutes and it should’ve been at least half an hour shorter. The narrative and the characters’ objectives within said narrative does not constitute this mammoth-sized run time. There are characters, plot points and scenes in here that don’t serve that great a purpose.
The upsides? This is some of the best casting I’ve seen in the last few years. The adult actors are exactly how I’d have envisioned the kids grown up. Everyone was outstanding but the standouts were Bill Hader and James Ransone. Hader is just phenomenally funny as Richie, but Ransone doesn’t get enough credit as the ticked, erratic and fastidious Eddie.
These characters are so memorable and I love the dynamic between each of them. But I really enjoyed how each of their arcs were resolved by the end; some people that I wanted to see end up at a certain place end up at where I wanted to see them.
There’s an electric sense of humour the cast imbued in the narrative that made the movie one of the more genuinely funny movies I’ve seen this year. The movie made up for its shortcomings by investing me in the characters, and I thought the way the movie ended was quite lovely actually. Also, Bill Skaarsgard once again kills it as Pennywise.
If you enjoyed Chapter One, Chapter Two wraps up the story rather well. Check it out!
Written by Seán Mac G.