'It Chapter Two' Review
It Chapter Two is a 2019 American supernatural horror film and the sequel to the 2017 film It, both based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman. Set in 2016, 27 years after the events depicted in the first film, it stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean as the adult versions of the Losers' Club. Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff reprise their roles as the younger Losers, while Bill Skarsgård also returns as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Defeated by members of the Losers' Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of Derry once again. Now adults, the childhood friends have long since gone their separate ways. But when people start disappearing, Mike Hanlon calls the others home for one final stand. Damaged by scars from the past, the united Losers must conquer their deepest fears to destroy the shape-shifting Pennywise.
It Chapter Two was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I loved the first one, so naturally I was excited for this one. Right off the bat, Chapter Two was not as good as the first one, but in all honesty, it really didn't need to be.
I still really enjoyed the film. I wasn't even a little disappointed. Mainly because this was exactly what I was expecting from the film. I unfortunately haven't read the novel, but from what I hear, the adult part isn't as good as the childhood portion. I have, however, seen the 1990 miniseries, and the same thing happened where the childhood part was better than the adulthood one. That's not an excuse to make a bad film, but the thing is this isn't a bad film.
I've seen a few reviews where everyone felt very disappointed. I can understand that, but I didn't have extremely high expectations going into it, so I ended up enjoying it a lot more.
I thought the film did a lot of things well, but it did have a few missteps. Visually speaking, the film was just as stunning as the original with beautifully creepy cinematography. They did double down on the CGI. It wasn't bad, but I think if they would've used a little more practical effects it could've been more effective.
This time around, they added a lot more jump scares. Unfortunately, they weren't as effective. The film also struggled maintaining tension. There were some really good scary tension-filled scenes, but overall, I didn't find the film to be all that scary. I did, however, find it to be very creepy. There's a lot of scenes in here that made me both feel unsettled and laugh. I'm not sure if that's what they were going for, but I liked it.
Another small problem I did have was with the runtime. The film was nearly three hours long. That runtime isn't automatically bad. Some of my all-time favorite films have been over two and a half hours long, but here the runtime didn't feel completely justified.
There's a lot of scenes I thought could've been shortened and even cut. There were a few scenes that didn't necessarily move the film forward, but they did add to the overall story. One of those scenes is with Bill and his bike. It's a long sequence, but one I understood as it completely reflected what the film was trying to do. Bill gets his bike and starts to remember the good things about his childhood, then he remembers the bad before turning into a more protective adult role. The film starts off with the Losers remembering the good things before they start remembering the bad things, and then they try to kill Pennywise. It was just something I could personally appreciate.
However, there were some scenes that I felt weren't entirely necessary. Towards the middle of the film, the story kinda stops, and we get a series of flashbacks. There's one in particular with Ben that I thought was completely unnecessary. It didn't add much to the character or story, but some of my favorites parts of the film is when the characters sit around and talk. These characters were the heart of the film, and I just really enjoyed watching them.
I was a little mixed on the ending, but after taking some time to really think about it, I really liked it.
The film did get slow and a little boring at times, but other than that, aside from the fact that I wanted some more genuine scares and the runtime was lengthy, I really didn't have a problem with the film. It's not perfect and it definitely has its fair share of flaws, but overall, I really enjoyed it.
This film was way too good to linger on its flaws. It told a solid story, with great characters, and an even better villain. It was also a lot funnier than I thought it would be with great comedic timing for the most part. For a film this long, it surprisingly had solid pacing.
I thought It Chapter Two was a very entertaining and, at times, a really scary horror film.
The acting was great and everyone gave a strong performance, but I thought the casting was even better. Whoever was in charge of putting this cast together deserves a round of applause and a raise.
Visually speaking, everyone matched their childhood counterpart almost perfectly. It was really amazing to see how much effort they really put into it.
Bill Skarsgård gave another amazing performance as Pennywise. He and the character were one of the best parts of the film. I thought he once again gave the best performance in the entire film.
Bill Hader really surprised me. I thought he gave the second best performance in the film. It's not that he's a bad actor by any means, but in a film with both James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain, I just didn't expect him to stick out as much as he did. He had great comedic timing as always, but he also nailed those more serious moments. He really was great in this film.
Everyone gave great performance. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy were as great as you'd expect them to be. I wasn't 100% familiar with the rest of the cast, but they were all great.
Both the story and plot were solid. The film started off with a great scene from Pennywise. It really set the story in motion. Then we get reintroduced to the losers. I really loved the first act, and I thought it did a great job setting the film up.
The second act really slowed down, and it dragged a bit. We got a bunch of flashbacks, and the story kinda stopped moving forward. There were a couple of scenes that didn't add a ton to the story. The film also had this long moment of remembrance that practically pushed it to a halt. The film did this thing where it would just linger on something a little too long.
I would consider the second act to be the weakest in the film. Most of it was a walk down memory lane. It was entertaining enough, but there was a point where I really wanted the film to move forward.
I liked the third act, and I really enjoyed the climax. I didn't love the ending when I first saw it, but after giving it some thought, I have come to really like it. I do wish I could've appreciated it more when I saw it originally.
The film did have some problems with the plot. I thought at times it relied to heavily on things that weren't as important as they could've been, but overall I thought they did a solid job with it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film, flaws and all. However, I can understand why some people would be a little disappointed with it. The first one really set some pretty high standards and, unfortunately, this one didn't meet them. This was definitely the worst of the two, but the film came out and did exactly what it was supposed to do.
It was a very creepy film with a few genuine scary moments. It had great directing and excellent cinematography. The overall story was solid as was the score, CGI, and visual effects. The film also had superb acting. Overall, it was a very well made film that I really enjoyed watching.
This was by no means a modern classic, and the film didn't necessarily live up to its hype. However, make no mistake. It Chapter Two was a great film.
© 2019 Royce Proctor