It Chapter 2
Directed By: Andy Muschietti
Stephen King is well-known for not always sticking the landings as they say. It is probably a big part of that. The film makes fun of that as well teasing writer Bill that no one likes his endings.
Overall I have to say I enjoyed the film. Lots of positives. But I don’t think they stuck the landing and I don’t think that can be put on King either.
Twenty-seven years after the last film everyone’s favorite clown is awake again and he’s got a score to settle with the now grown-up losers club who, besides Mike, has left Derry and happily forgotten everything that went on.
Mike gets the message (literally written in blood) and calls them home to fulfill the oath they made that if Pennywise wasn’t dead they’d come back and take care of him for good. There are spoilers for the book and film ahead so if you haven’t experienced either and want to unspoiled this is your warning!
In the film It’s origins are revealed along with a ritual to stop him in a very muddled way which does a number on the Mike character and leads to a long middle search for talismans that eventually come to nothing.
Yes, it’s nuts in the book but since they actual went to the trouble of adding the clubhouse and scenes why not just do the smoke ritual scene where Richie and Mike see It’s arrival?
Then the present could have been about keeping them together mainly (because the adult cast actually did have good chemistry) and remembering the specific information they had forgotten about It and they could have done more of Derry because it felt very disconnected as well.
Along with the number I think they didn’t mean to do on Mike’s character (drugging Bill!) there was a big reveal about Bill that I just didn’t buy with what we saw in the first film basically that he had lied to Georgie about being sick that morning.
And the thing is they didn’t have to go that far. Make him guilty about Georgie’s death fine. Make him guilty about for all intense and purposes forgetting Georgie (though that was more clear in the book) but that extra bit the script stuck in just killed that for me. I think cutting Audra save for that one scene in the beginning when they made her fairly unlikeable hurt Bill’s character.
I have some minor nitpicks and the fucking flashing lights of the ending that drove me crazy but those are the big things that stood out to me. Okay Its ending might (maybe) be unfilmable but its like they half-assed it and that lead to more of a mess. The book might have been a cosmic mess but this was just a mediocre script.
But like I said I still enjoyed the film. The parts that work do so really well. Bill Skarsgård is still excellent as Pennywise even though he’s not in it enough.
Bill Hader and James Ransone deserve all the credit as Richie and Eddie. I also think they were the best of the children (I loved Sophia Lillis and Bev in the first film but Jessica Chastain gets nothing to do here and gets stuck working mainly with the weakest of the adult loser actors in Jay Ryan.)
Richie is especially heartbreaking. There’s a great scene that starts with Finn Wolfhard’s Richie being bullied in an arcade leading to revealing the character is gay and ends with adult Richie upset on the same bench and you can just see it across the years. Same with Eddie and the back and forth those two characters especially share.
And the humor works for me in It- I can understand how some people feel like it can kill tension in a horror film but it’s completely in Richie (and to a lesser extent Eddie’s) characters. I think it’s realistic but then I know a lot of people who tend to face awful situations with what a lot of other people would likely deem inappropriately timed humor.
Plus the clown hates to be laughed at so that helps.
Plus they nail the drama as well.
There are also some standout scenes in this film:
The Losers in the quarry and Richie on the bridge at the end.
While it came to nothing Bill in the bike shop was a great scene as well. McAvoy made you feel the pain that he couldn’t get the words out and King was actually a pretty good in a cameo.
Eddie’s reaction to getting stabbed by Henry.
The entire sequence in the Chinese restaurant.
And perhaps the most terrifying Pennywise scene (for me) with the little girl where she called him out on his shit and was walking away when he caught onto her weakness and started appealing to her sense of loneliness and kindness like the master manipulator he is. That scene actually upset me because I couldn’t help think how many people (lets be honest a high number of them children and women) have suffered for the same appeal to emotion over instinct.
That one got to me.
Like I said despite some issues I enjoyed the film, the performances and the story. I think it could have had a better stronger script but its one of the few films where I would actually watch a longer director’s cut if and when they release it.