Friday, September 13, 2019

It Chapter Two, 2019 - ★★★★

Way too long of a film but still entertaining throughout, Andy Muschietti's follow up to the 2017 hit Stephen King adaptation excels based off it's carefully crafted cast. Bill Hader, James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain are the headliners, but ALL of the adult versions of the characters we saw in IT Chapter 1 in 2017 were cast perfectly by the producers of this film. Everyone looks like a grown-up version of the child actor that played the same character, but little known James Ransone stands out as a virtual doppelganger of Shazam's Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie.

Despite the strong casting and production value, the story just isn't that engaging at times and I found myself waiting to see the excellent Bill Skarsgard return to the screen as Pennywise. Skarsgard's performance in both films is a total creepy revelation. Something the Academy should honor although we all know they never will.

This movie explores the deep inner fears of the main characters and culminates in a loud messy final 30 minutes. It's not a film I really want to see again but it did entertain and engage me. Every time Pennywise is on screen it's riveting cinema in my opinion. The ratio of Pennywise-to-runtime in this film was not as high as I had hoped for. All in all, this is worth a viewing in the theater, especially if you invested in Chapter 1. Hader and Ransone bring the comedy to help mute the overall ominous tone of the movie. In fact, my favorite scene in the whole film comes during a Chinese restaurant dinner in which the main characters meet back up in Derry and share drinks and jokes. The believable chemistry between all the adult actors is earned instantly.

Kudos to a very spry and fit Stephen King for showing up in a clever cameo. I'm interested to see where Muschietti (only 46) goes from here. It looks like a DC comics "The Flash" film is next on his filmography.