Twenty-seven years after the events of the first movie IT, the eponymous being that goes by Pennywise The Dancing Clown, reawakens for his hibernation and near defeat from the last time to feed on the citizens of Derry, Maine. The Losers Club, the group of kids that initially stopped Pennywise and thought to have killed the creature, is grown up. They have nearly forgotten about what had happened in the past and encounter with It. They must reunite to stop and defeat the being who returned to terrorize the town once and for all.
This movie was fine. I liked the cast the most as this seemed to be a great matchup of the younger counterparts that they were playing. The scares in the film were not as effective as they were in the first movie. The film suffered from lengthy storytelling and exposition. While the movie did have some changes, IT Chapter Two did follow its miniseries and novel counterpart for the most part. But by doing this, there wasn’t any new surprises and was very predictable of what was going to happen, if you had seen the miniseries or read the book.
IT: Chapter Two is a long movie, clocking in at two hours and forty minutes. It’s one of the reasons I heard that this sequel didn’t gross as much as the first movie. As of September 22, 2019, IT: Chapter Two had grossed only $179 million domestically while IT grossed $266 million at the same point. While this could be something I’d agree with, there are other points I agree with more. The first movie was two hours and 10 minutes long. While IT was a half-hour shorter yes, but I think that this wasn’t the only factor as to why IT Chapter Two grossed much less than IT.
The following article contains spoilers from this point on.
The scares weren’t as impactful as they were in the first film. IT seemed to have better scares that than IT: Chapter Two. I did read and see that the visual effects in the first film lost their scariness if you saw them long enough on screen, which I can agree. A problem IT: Chapter Two had was there weren’t many new monsters or forms shown in IT: Chapter Two. Hobo, the Leper Man that Eddie encountered returned and wasn’t as frightening as the original when you got a good look at him. The only new monsters we got of note was The Witch, a monster form of Mrs. Kersh who Beverly encounters while getting an artifact. Also, a giant Paul Bunyan statue attacking Richie in the flashback. I wasn’t as frightened as I felt I saw have been. I also wasn’t that impressed with Pennywise’s final form of a giant half spider-half clown being, but I did think that it was better than the way it looked in the miniseries.
The cast for IT: Chapter Two was one of the stronger aspects of the movie. I thought that Bill Hader was excellent as the adult version of Ritchie. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain were great as well as Bill and Beverly, respectively. The rest of the cast was fine, but the main actors are who stood out as I am familiar with them. They matched their younger counterparts rather well and were believable to who all of these kids would grow up to look like and be. Bill Skarsgård does a great job again as Pennywise the Dancing Clown and still brought a creepiness to the role that he had done in the first movie.
There were some added story elements and other elements that were taken away, which made the movie hit and miss with telling a good story or having something that didn’t make sense for me. IT: Chapter Two felt like a created hybrid of the book and miniseries, that made things work on one medium work on and not on the other. I want to state that I never read the book, but watched the miniseries. So if I left something out or said something that I could have missed from the book as to why something happened, feel free to leave a comment.
I did like the idea of them trying to find artifacts, several individual items from the Loser’s club past, to have the ritual to stop Pennywise for good. While the process to get the objects was necessary, some of the characters gathering the artifacts took longer than it should have. There was also cutaways and going back and forth between their younger and older selves, so we got to see what happened in the time after The Loser’s Club broke up in that summer and got back together after their first encounter with Pennywise. I get that had to happen for the audience to understand and show how what and why things happened. There could have been some alternatives taken to shorten the movie possibly.
The beginning didn’t seem to make sense or have a purpose of being in this movie. Pennywise’s first victim at the beginning of this movie was Adrain. A man who was attacked by homophobic teens while at the fair with his boyfriend. He was beaten up and thrown off of a bridge by them. I didn’t get this as I thought that Pennywise’s prey involved children. This opening is in the novel; and I had to look this up because I didn’t understand why this opening happened. It just had no place and didn’t fit in with me. We also don’t see the group that bullied him again. Later in the movie, Pennywise kills a girl, with is what I remember from the miniseries that caused Mike to get the Loser’s Club back together. I would have been okay with that as the opening to the movie.
Bowers seemed to live out of nowhere. In the first movie, it looked like he fell to his death on his first attempt to kill The Loser’s Club. But he got washed out of the sewers, arrested for the killing of his father, and locked up into a mental asylum. While locked up for twenty-seven years, he gets visited by Pennywise as the corpse of Patrick Hockstetter, a teen who was killed by Pennywise in the first movie. Patrick gave Henry his switchblade back as a means to escape and kill The Loser’s Club. I found that visual funny, especially when the corpse of Patrick was driving Henry around in his Pontiac Tans-Am. While this was fine as a means for mentioning his escape and another antagonist, the movie seemed to have forgotten about the two bullies in Bower’s gang. Victor Criss and Belch Huggins were in the first movie, but seemed to disappear, when no mention or reason. They were the original two that visited Henry Bowers in the asylum and killed by Pennywise. I can’t understand why they disappeared. It feels amateurish to leave them out without mentioning them again.
Bill’s wife was hardly in the movie. I didn’t get this change. In the miniseries, she was captured by Pennywise as bait for Bill to come after him. In this movie, Bill goes after Pennywise after he sees a kid named Dean, who he met while retrieving his artifact. Dean was the Next victim of Pennywise, and Bill was unsuccessful in trying to stop Pennywise. This kill prompted Bill to want to go and kill Pennywise, which I could slightly get because it can remind him of his younger brother, who was’ Pennywise’s first victim in IT. But maybe his wife’s capture and perhaps the writer’s could have had Pennywise murder her as motivation for Bill to go after Pennywise. A kid that he barely knew and just met wasn’t that strong of a reason to get behind.
Eddie had some strange extreme moments of heroism, followed by some extreme cowardliness that confused me. He fought back against the Hobo form of IT, when he was trying to retrieve his artifact, only to be attacked by Hobo, the Leper he saw from the first movie. Eddie nearly defeated him, only to have been vomited on and IT got away. He even fought of Bower’s after getting stabbed by him. Then in the Neibolt House and the sewers, Eddie seemed to coward in fear when IT almost killed Ritchie. One moment he showed bravery and growth, the next he’ couldn’t and unable to stop the terror’s that It was causing. It sent mixed messages about his character.
The rest of the characters didn’t have much else going on. Mike at least was involved in the final battle, unlike the miniseries when he was nearly killed by Bower’s only to be saved by Ritchie. Beverly and Ben didn’t get together or chat in the movie. Not until the reveal near the end of the film. Beverly and Ben were going through nightmares brought upon by It. Ben recited the words on the postcard that Beverly had as he was getting buried. She realized then that the postcard she was from Ben and not Bill. For them to get together this way felt like a quick reason to get together instead of having the love come naturally. We saw Beverly wanting to be with Bill. Bill and Bev even had a kiss that seemed out of place because Ben didn’t catch them kissing. So, I didn’t see the point in that.
The end was fine as it wrapped up the story. The final battle with it and the Loser’s Club was good, although the fight went long. Although the movie ended like the miniseries, with Eddie thinking he killed IT but getting killed when It stabs him in the abdomen. Instead of an all-out attack by The Loser’s club, they shrank It down by calling names and belittling the ego of It and causing It’s heart to be obtained and crushed, killing It. The ending was fine. I did like the posthumous letter from Stanley the hardly mention Loser’s club member who committed suicide at the beginning of the movie because he couldn’t be strong enough to fight It. He was the only character’s absence that seemed to make sense to me to leave out. He didn’t have that great of a role, and the brief mentions of him throughout this movie worked. This letters that got sent as a way to wrap up the story and have the audience watch as we get closure for the rest of the Loser’s Club.
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