It: Chapter Two
This turned out to be one of my most hyped films of the year. I love the original It with Tim Curry and had a blast with the It remake from two years ago. We were ready to see the Losers Club all grown up and ready to end the menace of Pennywise The Dancing Clown. I regret to say that this film was a massive disappointment for me. So much so that the negatives outweigh the positives for me. With reworking this film could have been much better than the final product.
The film picks up in the town of Derry, Maine, 27 years after the Losers Club first encountered Pennywise the murderous clown. The group had become estranged from each other and upon reunion they find out that there is an ancient ritual they must perform to finally get rid of Pennywise. Such is not an easy task as they are immediately tormented by Pennywise and must band together to rid the town of him. The child actors from the first film reappear in this film but most of the screen time goes to their adult counterparts.
I’ll start with the positives. Most of the actors in this film are good and the adults have good chemistry with each other. Bill Hader and his comedic humor, is the best part of this film. Jessica Chastain does well as an adult Beverly, who is tormented by her abusive past. James McAvoy just felt like he was there and underutilized. I may be the only one but I felt like Bill Skarsgard (while brilliant as Pennywise) was also underutilized and did not have as memorable moments as in the first film.
Lets get into what I disliked about this film. The running length is the biggest sin. At very close to three hours, the film feels like its length. There is an hour worth of footage that could have easily been cut out. The film spends way too much time on each characters personal journey and memories a lot of which didn’t even need to be touched on because it was addressed in the first film. A lot of the scare tactics are the same as the first film.We see returning forms of It and the same horror gags (ex. the scary doors). The final battle with It is way too long and the climax to overcoming such a powerful supernatural being was horrendous to me.
The film feels like one where the director included absolutely every scene shot into it and didn’t want to omit anything even if it interferes with how the film is paced. That entire first scene with the gay couple being beaten up and attacked by Pennywise served absolutely no purpose. The bullies never return? Why not open the film with the scene with the little girl meeting Pennywise behind the bleachers? A much more effective re-introduction to the clown.
Also, at times, especially with Chastain’s character visiting her old home you think you will get a bit of a backstory to Pennywise but nothing is addressed properly. This just felt like a bloated mess and a lot of it was really boring. The film feels so repetitive and feels like it ignores a lot of what the characters learned in the first film. A vast disappointment that retreads grounds it doesn’t need to cover…again.