Man, did this movie not have to be 3 hours long.
I mean really, it did not need to be 3 hours long.
“It Chapter 2” is essentially “Retcon: The Movie.” The film follows older versions of the 2017 “It” kids; James McAvoy plays team leader turned famous author Bill Denbrough; Jessica Chastain plays the friend group’s one girl, Beverly Marsh; Bill Hader plays the likable nerd turned professional comedian Richie Tozler; Isaiah Mustafa plays Mike Hanlon, the one friend that stayed in the town they grew up; Jay Ryan plays former fat kid and now wealthy architect Ben Hanscom; James Ransome plays germaphobe Eddie Kaspbrak; and Andy Bean plays early victim and guy who isn’t in most of the film, Stanley Uris.
And we of course have the kid version cast of all these characters from the previous film, who appear in flashback sequences as all of them “remember” scenes that were missing from the previous film.
And of course, there’s the antagonist, spooky clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), who everyone came to see and is again terrorizing the town of Derry.
This film markets itself and justifies its existence by having the characters from the previous film return to Derry as adults to finish what they started as kids, killing Pennywise once and for all and ending his murderous child-eating reign.
This film, like “IT” 2017, will always be compared to the miniseries that came before it, and with that being said, this film is a vast improvement over the adult section of the “IT” TV miniseries. The casting for this film has been praised many a time, rightfully so, as they got every character’s adult version spot on, and everyone brings a unique energy to their roll, with Hader being the breakout performance as Richie. While this film can be a slog, clocking in around 3 hours long, with its horror sequences using too much CGI to the point where they look fake and aren’t scary, we need not forget the embarrassing, also boring slog that was the miniseries’ attempt at adapting this same content.
Based on its own merits, “IT Chapter 2” is a perfectly OK film. It’s been labeled as a horror odyssey, and I think that accurately describes it. It’s not a film I would watch again, but it might be worth watching in conjunction with “IT” 2017, if horror marathons are your thing.
The best way I can describe this film’s quality is its like a “Fallout” game. It has a deep, sprawling story with a lot to find and like in it, but because of its size, there are parts of it that are really lacking in quality. As such, it has moments that are really powerful, like Hader’s journey, but also some moments of amateur hour (there are some particularly bad takes by McAvoy and Beverly’s husband, who is played by Will Beinbrink, which are straight out of a direct-to-DVD B movie).
Overall, “IT Chapter 2” is a boring mess with some interesting sequences.
“IT Chapter 2” gets a 6/10