It Chapter Two Review
What’s It About?
Pennywise returns to Derry 30 years later, and the Losers' Club are compelled to reform and return to the place of their nightmares to deal with him.
Who’s In It?
James McAvoy (The Last King Of Scotland, X-Men: First Class, & more recently Glass)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Molly’s Game, & more recently Dark Phoenix)
Other notables include:
Bill Hader (The Skeleton Twins, Inside Out, & The Angry Birds Movies 1-2)
Bill Skarsgard (Atomic Blonde, It, & more recently Deadpool 2)
Director: Andy Muschietti (Mama, It)
Pennywise may well be an unwelcome return to the town of Derry, but for the rest of us, it is an absolute delight to see this total clown.
Whereas in the first film, he is seen sparingly, in this sequel, director Andy Muschietti goes full on, enabling Bill Skarsgard much more time away from the shadows, and unfortunately it is this excess, with a remarkable running length of 2hrs 49mins, that really hampers the film.
The story kicks off in Derry with a hate crime, which, 30 years on, heralds the return of Pennywise. The only member of the Losers’ Club still living there, Mike, enacts the emergency calls, demanding everyone to commit to their teen blood oath and return to deal with this terrible clown.
Meeting all of the Losers’ Club as grown ups is an absolute delight, eg Bill as a renowned screenwriter, Beverly still in an abusive relationship, Richie as a standup comic. But the real icing on the cake is seeing all their reactions on receiving the call that Pennywise is back. All those years of suppressed emotions coming flooding back.
While there are still scenes involving those impressive youngsters littering the screen, Stranger Things style, the 30 year leap has enabled Muschietti to upgrade the cast with the likes of James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain (who he collaborated with on Mama) and Bill Hader to name a few. The cast add hugely to the film, culminating in a wonderful scene in a Chinese restaurant when they all finally come back together.
But, unfortunately, it is from this point on that the script seems to lose its way, plodding on interminably towards a bigger and more epic CGI fuelled showdown with Pennywise. It’s a shame, as it spoils what came before, but without a more ruthless editor, It Chapter Two ultimately becomes a bloated, flabby mess with the length impacting on the fear factor, though admittedly the prospect of a third film certainly fills one with a new kind of horror.
In A Nutshell:
A welcome return to Pennywise and the Losers Club soon turns into a nightmare with a sprawling overlong storyline.
The first half of the film, reacquainting us with the characters, but this time grown up
Pennywise of course
The cast including Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and a wisecracking Bill Hader
From midway through, the film becomes a bloated, flabby mess clocking in at nearly three hours