I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!
After 50 Years, Disney can finally cash in on an It sequel because author Stephen King has finally passed away.
Oh. Never mind. Let’s start again after I buy more shares of Disney.
After 2 years, Pennywise returns to allow moms and dads to continue molesting their kids in It 2. Since 2017, Pennywise has been named an honorary Catholic Bishop.
After It ’17 took in so much money at the box-office 2 Septembers ago and hopefully erased that awful 1993 miniseries from everybody’s minds (except those with Gen-X nostalgia goggles and an innate fear of network television), it(!) was inevitable that a sequel would appear in theaters like clowns in a sewer.
With Pet Sematary having reasonable success at the box-office last April and Doctor Sleep opening in November, Stephen King’s box-office domination doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
But how does It 2 hold up to the 80s-set Chapter 1? Do you really care since you’re more than likely going to see It 2 regardless?
That’s a lot of pressure. Do you really need a review to make your decision?
You actually watched Angel Has Fallen. I feel bad for your life and the horrible choices you make.
It 2 opens right where the first movie left off…
It 2 opens right where the first movie left off, except it’s 27 years later. Derry is still a fun place to live if you like having your kids killed.
A gay couple is beaten up on the boardwalk. One of the men sees what looks like a clown eat his partner.
Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) investigates the scene. He’s not a cop or anything, he’s just a concerned lifelong Derry citizen who 27 years ago saved the world from a murderous clown with his best friends in the whole wide world and then they made a promise, a solemn vow, to return to Derry if It should ever come back. So yeah, Mike has something invested in these killings.
Mike knows what’s happening. And he knows that a calling-his-friends montage is going to happen right…now.
Let’s see what the Loser’s Club is up to in 2016…
- Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy)- Stuttering Bill Denbrough’s Den-bro Georgie is still dead as a result of being eaten in a sewer. Bill is still bummed about it but has channeled that guilt into writing horror movies and screenplays. Though his endings could use some work. Where have we heard that before?
- Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain)- Bev has thankfully left Derry and her abusive dead daddy. She’s now married to a husband that abuses her. After Mike’s call, Bev finally hits back by making him watch The Zookeeper’s Wife. You’d think she’d remember all that abuse she took and not be another Rihanna to all the Chris Browns.
- Richie Tozier (Bill Hader)- Funny guy Richie has now become a comedian. That’s a stretch. He gets Mike’s call and is nauseous for whatever reason. He can’t figure out why.
- Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone)- Eddie has left his domineering mother and now married a domineering wife. After he gets Mike’s call, he forgets how to drive. It’s like there’s some malevolent force out there that’s making him forget.
- Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan)- Chubby Ben just Chris Pratt-ed into a 4-alarm fire and is now a successful architect. He has residual body issues and still holds a flame for Bev. He’s actually pretty well adjusted.
- Stanley Uris (Andy Bean)- Who cares?
The Loser’s Club reunite over a very animated Chinese food dinner, realize and remember what Pennywise is and what It did to them. Some of them are reluctant to stay because they are afraid. Some of them must stay because they’re afraid and no longer want to live in fear.
Over the years living in Derry, Mike has figured out a way that might kill Pennywise once and for all. But it’s going to take all of the Avengers, um, Loser’s Club to confront their past as it floats up to the surface.
That’s so stupid. Using time travel because you can’t write yourself out of a corner.
What Works with It Chapter 2
- Thanks to It 2, Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy and kind of erase the stench of last June’s awful Dark Phoenix. McAvoy has more to make up for since he was also in last January’s terrible Glass, but at least it’s a clown-sized shoe step in the right direction.
- The Chinese restaurant sequence, laughably done in the milquetoast miniseries, actually generates some scares. Too bad it’s the only time you’re truly afraid during the movie.
- Performance-wise, top-billed Jessica Chastain does most of the heavy lifting as Bev is the only character with any real arc. I know a movie with a monster clown isn’t really the place to be talking about “character arc”, but you can see why she’s a multiple Oscar nominee.
- Bill buys a bike. A self-aware cameo makes it one of the best/funniest scenes in the movie.
What Doesn’t Work with It Chapter 2
- We all know Stephen King loves Magical Negros, but it’s a shame that the only black character Mike is reduced to one solely to serve all the white characters. Mike is such a thinly written part that you half-expect him to get pulled over by the cops when the script no longer needs him.
- Pennywise as an idea is scarier than Pennywise when he’s actually onscreen. Bill Skarsgard is a spirited performer, but the more Pennywise appears the less frightening he is and more of your standard movie monster.
- A problematic second act that has our main characters confronting their pasts but stops the movie in its tracks. There are some decent individual scenes, but screenwriter Gary Dauberman (who wrote and directed last June’s dreadful Annabelle Comes Home) has most of It 2 spinning its wheels during this sequence and it takes most of its running time to get back on track.
- Speaking of running time, no horror movie needs to skirt the 3-hour mark. It didn’t work for last July’s excellent Midsommar, and it doesn’t work for the mostly good It 2.
Like any review is going to stop you from see It 2, especially in a traditionally dead month like September. However with slightly lowered expectations, you’ll enjoy It 2 more than you won’t.