Since seeing the first It in 2017 like most people who saw it, I couldn’t wait to see the next chapter of this story. Rumors quickly began circulating about who may be cast as the adult versions of the Losers club and eventually one of the biggest fan favourites Jessica Chastain came to fruition. In the time since the first one I’ve watched it countless times and know it back to front, so personally I had a strong connection to the first due to how many times I had gone on that journey with those characters. I however heard going into It Chapter 2 to expect a reasonably different movie than the first, so I adjusted my expectations accordingly… or so I thought. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for just how different this movie is and on the whole those differences are for the worse.
One of the opening moments of the movie is without a doubt the most uncomfortable I have ever felt in a movie theater and it had nothing to do with the supernatural. Without getting into specific details the movie opens of a hate crime and seeing it escalate more and more and more. From the actions of characters to the dialogue they spoke I can’t recall being quite so shaken by what happened. Of course normally I would be over this sort of thing by the time the movie ended because it would have been made clear what the purpose of that was meant to be. However, in this movie as far as I could tell it being specifically a hate crime had no real significance. Again normally this isn’t the sort of thing I would have been overly bothered by but the execution really just left me scratching my head, feeling extremely uncomfortable and weird. Which of paved the way for how I would feel about the rest of the movie… Weird.
One of the other stand out issues with this movie is the pacing, which isn’t something you want to hear about an almost three hour movie. Occasionally the movie finds it footing and gets a good flow going but more often than not things feel overlong, unimportant or just plain boring as they repeat either the same beats or themes over and over and over. Before bring up my next point I want to clarify my knowledge of the source material, I vaguely remember and know very little about the mini-series and novel respectively. With that being said going into this movie I didn’t expect the Losers club to go on individual macguffin related quests, nor did I expect them to be executed in arguably the laziest way possible.
- X character has to obtain item Y
- X character has spooky flashback to interaction with Pennywise in 89
- X character obtains item Y
- X character in modern day has a confrontation with Pennywise
Now rinse and repeat those exact steps 5 or 6 times and you got yourself the second act to It Chapter 2. Due to all of that by the time you reach the third act you’re dead tired from seeing the same thing happen over and over and over. However the second act isn’t all bad, the performances given by the adult actors are spot to match their ’89 counter parts. There wasn’t a single moment where I felt that there was a disconnect between the characters, of course they have grown and lived new experiences since we last saw them but the way the speak, think and act are perfect to a tee. James Ransone as the adult Eddie in particular stands out as best at replicating the young version of himself but that being said their is no real weak link among the cast in terms of performances. Even from a looks standpoint it blew me away how dead on they casted this movie, it even had my girlfriend wondering if they digitally altered some of the actors to look more like the kids. The only ones who don’t quite match as well visually are Chastain and James McAvoy but that’s only because I’m so familiar with them and their body of works.
The third act of the film is fine at the end of the day but it was far from as satisfactory as watching the kids just beat the sh*t out of Pennywise until he retreats. While the ending here is unquestionably better than that of the original mini-series, it still left me wanting something more. Not that I have any idea of what I want more to be but I know that what we got wasn’t it. The best part of this section of the movie is by far Bill Skarsgård, who is good throughout all of it but it was here in the third act he is the most entertaining part. The way in which the film concludes again is fine but just left me feeling more empty than I thought I would.
Overall I’m not a fan of It Chapter 2, I tend to like sequels more than most do but this one definitely falls into the “not as good as the first one” camp. Thankfully the first still works to stand on it on its own and I still feel like I can watch it any time, but with Chapter 2 I strongly feel I will likely not see it again for at least a few years. Aside from some great performances the movie lacks in so much of what made the first movie great. But now I want to know what you thought of the psycho clown sequel. Let me know by commenting here on this very article or reaching out to me @nerdycasual on twitter.