Director Andy Muschietti’s new film It Chapter Two (2019) doesn’t quite live up to the first entry, but it still satisfies more than it doesn’t. The film is a bit too long, clocking in at 2 hours 49 minutes – and there are moments that definitely feel dragged out. However, there are some great scenes sprinkled throughout the film, and some inspired casting choices for the now adult versions of the kids from the first film.
IT Chapter Two will satisfy some of your cravings, but will mostly leave you wanting something different.
27 years after the outcome of It (2017), Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) is the only member of the Loser’s Club to stay in Derry – and now his worst fears have come true. Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) appears to have returned, and Mike is tasked with reaching out to the other members to have them come home. Stanley (Andy Bean), Richie (Bill Hader), Ben (Jay Ryan), Eddie (James Ransone), Beverly (Jessica Chastain) and Bill (James McAvoy) have almost no memories of their time in Derry, until their phone rings and Mike is on the other end. The Loser’s Club reunites in order to fight this ancient evil that tormented them in their youth.
Hader is by far my favorite part of this film, though Ransone is extremely solid and the most like his child counterpart, Jack Dylan Grazer. Hader has been climbing the ranks of my favorite actors over the last couple of years anyways, and I really loved what he gets to do as Richie (Finn Wolfhard plays the child version of the character). Richie and Eddie were probably my favorite dynamic in the first film, and that sentiment is only stronger in this one. I believe Hader is given quite a wide range from being comedic relief and getting one of the best dramatic arcs in the whole series. His talents are used perfectly, and he delivers an incredible performance.
One of my biggest complaints about the film – which, shockingly, I found out it was from the book – was the opening scene. A hate crime takes place in Derry, and leads to our first sighting of Pennywise. It feels so out of place, and then really doesn’t get any resolution by the film’s end, making it feel all the more disgusting. There is a thematic element that could be linked to this hate crime, which was apparently added for the movie – but it’s not enough to justify such a tough scene for no real story catharsis. Not to mention that the non-supernatural characters who commit the crime are never seen again, and apparently suffer no consequences…nor do they impact the plot at all.
I think there are a number of little things one could nitpick about the film. Fortunately, I was able to get past many of them to still mostly enjoy the overall film. The rumor is out that Muschietti will be doing an ultimate cut that recreates a similar structure to the book and the original TV movie. It Chapter 2 earns a Decent Watch rating.