Main cast: James McAvoy (Bill Denbrough), Jessica Chastain (Beverly Marsh), Jay Ryan (Ben Hanscom), Bill Hader (Richie Tozier), Isaiah Mustafa (Mike Hanlon), James Ransone (Eddie Kaspbrak), Andy Bean (Stanley Uris), Javier Botet (Hobo the Leper), and Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise the Dancing Clown)
Director: Andy Muschietti
It Chapter Two is, of course, the sequel to It which came out in 2017. No, you don’t have to watch the previous one before you see this one, in my opinion, because my goodness, they fill this movie with flashbacks and meandering exposition that will fill you in and bore those who have already seen the previous movie to tears. This one clocks in at nearly three hours, and the bulk of the film is so slow, interspersed with awkward humor, juvenile bickering, and really boring, seen-this-before adult soap opera. Sure, when these folks remember that this is a horror film, they put in predictable jump scares and loud clangs to the point that this is like a The Conjuring Universe movie with a pointless Stephen King cameo appearance.
The kids in the previous movie are now grown-ups, and they have gone their separate ways. Only Mike Hanlon resides in Derry. All seem well, and these people only have to deal with bad relationships and other soap opera issues, until a vicious gay bashing lead to the reappearance of Pennywise. There is an Orange Mad Bad joke in there somewhere, I’m sure. Mike summons the rest of the gang back to take down the stupid clown once and for all.
Now, the adult cast is the best thing about this movie. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain are forced to make the most out of their roles, which happen to be the blandest and most boring ones of the bunch, while Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, and the rest have a far easier time to steal the show. These folks even resemble the kid cast, and sometimes they even display the same mannerism, so there is a natural, seamless kind of transition that takes place between the flashbacks and present day scenes. However, perhaps because of the script and the direction, the adult cast generates little chemistry with one another. It’s hard to imagine the adult version of the main characters as friends, especially when they spend more time engaging in unimaginatively written and tepid bickering with one another.
Bill Skarsgård is good as Pennywise, but by this point, I’m tired of all the exaggerated hype behind Pennywise being the scariest thing ever – oh please – that I have developed an instinctive need to roll up my eyes each time he’s in a scene.
The biggest problem of this movie, though, is how much of a slough it is. The pacing is so, so, so slow that the movie feels like it is six, not three, hours long. There are so many scenes here that feel like fillers, adding little to the overall story arc. Sure, there are a few chilling scenes here and there, but for the most part the movie just goes on forever like a marathon involving tortoises, and I can only wonder whether these people were paid by the hour or something. Why else would this movie need to be this long and slow?
Oh, and the CGI. Coupled with the formulaic jump scares and tedious use of loud sounds to drive home the scares, the obviously fake and not-scary-at-all CGI makes this movie the equivalent of baby’s first horror movie. Then again, there are more boring soap opera moments here than genuine horror, so maybe that’s to be expected. It sure feels like the people behind this movie are far more interesting in making a “Stephen King’s movie” first and a horror movie second.
Anyway, I watched this boring snooze just for completion’s sake, as I watched the previous one after all, and now that I’ve done so, I can say that it’s been a forgettable “event” altogether. Stephen King’s brand of horror is overrated anyway, and the fellow hadn’t written genuine horror in a long time now, so whatever really.