It Chapter Two

09/09/2019 06:23

Film: It: Chapter Two

Year: 2019

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Gary Dauberman

Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader



This was a film that I had been highly expecting ever since I saw the first one. I thought that this one would make or break the overall story so I caught this the first night that was I was available to. Then actually caught it days later just to make sure what I thought about it. Even then, I could see that this one is polarizing, which I expected with all the hype surrounding it. I’ve now let this settle a bit more before coming back to it.

Synopsis: twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

We start this off at the local fair in Derry, Maine. There’s a guy playing one of the carnival games and gives the reward to a little girl. We then see that he’s gay and kisses his boyfriend. One of them grew up here and wants out where the other one wants to go wherever the other does. They are then attacked by a group of locals who are homophobic. They beat one of them nearly to death and throw him over the bridge. His boyfriend goes looking and sees Pennywise. It then shifts to Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa), the only member of the Loser’s Club to stay. He makes the call to each member of the Losers Club and to tell them its time to come home.

I won’t break down all the aspects of everyone’s lives, but Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy) is a famous writer and married to an actress. Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain) is married to abusive man and they have a clothing line. Richie Tozier (Bill Hader) is a popular comedian, Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan) is a successful architect, Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone) is a risk analyst and Stanley Uris (Andy Bean) is an accountant. They all deal with the news in their own ways, but it rocks them to their core as they start to remember.

They all return to Derry aside from Stanley, who does something that is shocking, but fitting for the character. They catch up with each other, but the mood turns somber when they ask why Mike called them here. This freaks everyone out and they want all to leave. Mike pleads for them to change their minds. They must stop Pennywise and what it does every 27 years. If they’re going to defeat it though, they need to reach down and remember the memories they suppressed. Pennywise has a bit of help when we see that Henry Bowers (Teach Grant) survived.

Now I’m going to lead off my recap stating that I enjoyed this film. Much like with the original mini-series, I don’t like the second half of the story as well. I think the aspects with the children are scarier so when they focus on them as adults, it doesn’t get to me as much. I still thought this was good though, so I wanted to get that out of the way before getting into my deeper thoughts.

The first thing I really wanted to get into first is that the acting is great here. Chastain is a solid Beverly, but the one thing that didn’t was the hurt that was conveyed when she was a child. I understand that part of it is that she doesn’t remember. Her husband is abusive like her father and I’m missing her being a bit more broken. She does bring quite a bit of strength which I liked. McAvoy is great in pretty much everything I’ve seen him in. Hader was amazing here. There is a sense of hurt here that I like and he brings with it a secret he’s been harboring. When it clicked for me, it makes so much sense for this why Richie makes the jokes that he does. Mustafa makes for a good Mike who is dealing with the effects of staying in Derry. I like that he’s the least successful because of it. Ryan is good as well as Bean. I do have to say that Ransone was hilarious and I thought he was perfect as the adult Eddie. Something I was disappointed about was a lack of Skarsgård. We get a decent amount Pennywise, but I wanted a bit more of him messing with them in this form. The children are all back and I thought they were all solid for rounding out the film along with the rest of the cast as well.

The story here though was good for me. I like bringing in the aspect of the novel that they can’t remember what happened to them before leaving Derry as that is solid mythology. They also brought up how Pennywise got to where he is and that he’s always been there or at least the entity behind the character has been. There’s also a bit of social commentary that was also in the book. The two gay men that are attacked is something that is socially relevant. It’s sad that in the novel it was set in the 80’s, but still works today. It deals with real issues that still work, especially how Pennywise can play on them.

I’ve heard issues with the pacing. The movie runs close to 3 hours, but to be honest, I didn’t notice it. It kept my interest and moved through everything without getting boring despite the length. It is interesting that with the original mini-series, the first half showed the adults having flashbacks and we that but done so the kids can remember things they forgot. I didn’t mind it, because it made sense with what they need to do to defeat Pennywise. I wasn’t the biggest fan how this plays out though. It doesn’t ruin it, but it feels cheesy. I personally just wanted it to be a bit bleaker.

Another issue with the earlier movie was the effects. I didn’t have any problems there or here either. There are interesting, creepy things that were done. To be honest, I think this one is downplayed a bit more than I wanted. I don’t know if it’s that they’re adults, so it is harder to scare them and that they’re having issues remembering. I do like the final form of Pennywise better than what they did in the original while somewhat keeping with it. The deadlights are an interesting aspect. This is shot well, so I will give credit to the cinematography. Where they end up was a bit unbelievable, but I’ll let that slide.

In conclusion, I personally think this film lived up to the hype. I tried to avoid the trailers as much as I could so that helps me as well. The story was solid and flipping how it is edited from the original is fine. There’s a bit of social commentary here which I can also get behind. I thought the acting was good across the board and despite its running time, it never got boring to me. I wanted it to be a bit bleaker, but I thought the final showdown was good. The cinematography looked good and I would say that the effects are as well. Soundtrack didn’t stand out to me, but I didn’t have any issues there. It fit the scenes for what was needed. I would recommend giving this a viewing. It didn’t disappointment, but it also much like the original, this second half is weaker than the first. I would still call this good though.


My Rating: 8 out of 10