While IT: Chapter 2 delivers on jump scares, and Bill Hader with one-liners, the adult cast underwhelm when compared to their younger counterparts.
|Screenplay By||Gary Dauberman|
|Good If You Like||Jump Scares|
|Mike||Isaiah Mustafa, Chosen Jacobs|
|Richie||Bill Hader, Finn Wolfhard|
|Beverly||Jessica Chastain, Sophia Lillis|
|Eddie||James Ransone, Jack Dylan Grazer|
|Ben||Jay Ryan, Jeremy Ray Taylor|
|Stanley||Andy Bean, Wyatt Oleff|
|Bill||James McAvoy, Jaeden Martell|
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Plot Summary/ Review
Twenty Seven years after the events of the first film, Mike calls everyone back to Derry as it becomes clear Pennywise is back. However, with vague memories of their youth, at first, most don’t remember why they are returning. But, as Pennywise reintroduces himself to them all, the reason for their return becomes clear and, eventually, their resolve.
The one undeniable asset of the sequel is Bill Hader. His one-liners as Richie are golden and bring consistent laughs from the beginning of the film to the end. Especially if he is messing with another character or having an awkward moment with one of the forms of Pennywise.
The Jump Scares
While Skarsgård could never replace Tim Curry, It: Chapter 2 does solidify just as there are multiple Jokers, each one with their own merits, so are there two Pennywises, each with their own specific traits they bring to the film. With Curry, we may not have gotten as many jump scares, but him playing upon the comedic side of Pennywise was better.
But, when it comes to Skarsgård, while him playing the clown role can be hit or miss, especially in this outing, when he plays up the demonic monster, he is ace and goes beyond what Curry did. Thus giving you someone, at least considering modern special effects, who is far more scary and when he pops up on the screen, there is nearly a guaranteed fright.
You Don’t Care For The Adults Like You Do The Kids
While the casting for the adults is spot on, so comes the issue that while the older actors match up physically, in terms of investment, it isn’t the same. Maybe it is because, essentially, It Chapter 2 largely feels like a recap, since so much focus is about the adults remembering what happened during their childhoods? Making it so, while McAvoy, Chastain, Hader, and the rest are technically the stars, they don’t get to establish themselves. They are more so extensions of the younger actors, who present a more vibrant side to each person, than these jaded adults who only really come alive when they are scared for their life.
Well, outside of Hader who gives us an idea Richie maintained some sense of personality.
On The Fence
While The Adults Face Their Childhood Trauma, It Isn’t Too The Point This Feels Beyond A Horror Movie
While we see Beverly in an abusive marriage, and see what she went through as a child, the film doesn’t dig too deep into that. Despite it being hinted Richie might be gay, again, the film doesn’t dive into the possibility that much. This goes on and on as each character confronts their past, and how it influences their present. Which, admittedly, grows boring for as much as the jump scares act as a alarm clock, it makes you question why this movie damn near 3 hours is? Also, considering how acclaimed some of the actors are, why are their personalities turned down, and their skills not utilized? Were those involved okay with McAvoy doing a stutter and that’s all they needed? Damn exploring his troubles for writing a good ending or how Georgie still haunts him? Maybe even how that affects his marriage?
Which isn’t to say I don’t understand the goal of IT is fear, but when the characters rely on the audience’s love for the actors, there is a problem. Since then it isn’t about Mike or Eddie being in trouble, or what Stanley does, it is about Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, and Andy Bean. If not more about Jay Ryan’s abs than Ben growing up, exercising, and becoming someone who feels less insecure about himself.
Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
While IT: Chapter 2, finishes the story, I wouldn’t say it does so with a bang. For while Skarsgård delivers, and Hader earns his paycheck, largely the film feels forgettable. Be it due to the adult actors dealing with greater expectations, the assumption a sequel will be better than the original, or that Pennywise would go beyond what we saw in the first movie. Hence the mixed label since It: Chapter 2 delivers on the frights, but the only thing it delivers beyond that are Hader’s one-liners. Making it often feel like he is carrying the film when Pennywise reengaging you after slowly losing interest.