Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
'IT Chapter 2?' Not so much. Actually did find a lot to like about it, with a lot of what was great about the first film still here, and for me it is better than has been said. The mixed reception is more than understandable but it is not as terrible as the more negative reviews say in my view. Chapter 1 is the better film, but the second film is better than the second half of the mini-series on the whole and again it is a more than admirable and brave attempt at adapting an extremely difficult and near-unfilmable book.
While there is a good deal to recommend, there are some glaring problems. There are problems with the pacing here. Especially in the middle act, where it meanders due to being too flashback heavy. Some flashbacks being more interesting than others, with Ben's and Richie's being quite unnerving, Eddie's (the too long adult encounter not much better) was neither scary or memorable. The special effects are more variable this time round and suffer too from overuse. IT's true form comes off worst and is as bad, am not kidding here, as that in the mini-series which is notoriously universally panned.
The defeat of IT is beyond dumb and really undermines a final act that actually started off quite powerfully despite also being a bit too drawn out. Henry Bowers is also extremely underwritten, and both has little presence when having barely any screen time and quite badly overacted. Lets not get started on his very rushed, too easy and quite stupid defeat.
However, as was said before there is a lot to like. The production values mostly are terrific, not just the lighting but also the beautifully realised Derry setting, taut editing and cinematography that's both stunning and unnerving. Epileptics be warned though, there is a scene towards the end of the middle act that is heavy in strobe lighting effects. The music is haunting without being over-scored, ever since the first film it has been impossible to hear "Oranges and Lemons" in the same way again and that opinion has not changed. Andy Muschietti directs with suspense, potent realism, confidence and affection, while the writing (which is also remarkably true to King's style) has a great balance of hilarious comedy, touching drama and affectionate nostalgia. Richie getting the best lines.
Much has been said about the film being too long, am mixed on this consensus personally. The book is huge and both the child and adult time-lines need a quite long length to do it justice, having said that the middle act definitely could have done with a trim. The story is not just a horror story, but also blends humour (mostly from Ritchie), emotion and a 'Stand By Like' like nostalgia. There are memorable moments here, the Mrs Kersh encounter, the Fortune Cookie scene and the very freaky beginning (am amazed they managed to film this scene) being standouts. There is one improvement here over the previous film, Mike is much more interesting here which was necessary as this time as an adult he is something as the glue of the group.
Cannot fault the performances. All the adults are very well cast, with Bill Hader absolutely killing it as Richie, and the children are great again especially Finn Woolfhard and Sophia Lillis (the standouts in the first too). Bill Skarsgaard is again the stuff of nightmares as Pennywise, filling giant clown shoes with aplomb and putting his own spin on it. If asked who is better between Skarsgaard and the unforgettable Tim Curry, mainly because of more familiarity Curry gets the edge but they are both must sees in their own way.
Summarising, not brilliant and uneven but enjoyed it on the most part. 7/10
- Dec 5, 2019