Dir; Andy Muschietti. Starring; Jessica Chastain, James Macavoy, Bill Hader. R. Color. 179 min.
*A preface to this review, I have never read the book and even if I had this is a review of the movie.
Was this film intended to be a comedy? That is not a sarcastic remark, I am genuinely curious if the filmmakers set out to make people laugh. Because if they were going for horror, epic fail. But if they were going for horror comedy ala “Evil Dead” or “Cabin in the Woods”, also an epic fail. “It Chapter Two” has several talented actors involved who I am unsure that they understand the audience is laughing at them, not with them. This is essentially a 200 million dollar version of a weekly episode of “Supernatural” on TNT.
I will be brief with my plot synopsis. The opposite of this film. Why of all movies is this three hours long? This story could have been told in twenty minutes. Spoiler alert I guess.
The plucky kids from the first installment are all grown up and really, really, really brooding. After one of the strangest ‘WOKE’-style opening scenes ever involving a gay couple getting beat up and the crazy clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) then eating one of them, it’s time to get the gang back together. The haunted by his past one black kid, keeping it PC Stephen King, in the losers club from movie one grew up to be the haunted by his past black adult Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) who never left the town of Derry, Maine. He has been obsessed with Pennywise for 27 years, as that is the period of time this alien clown monster shows up. I would have gone every 25 years, round number, but to each his own.
Then the big stars assemble to play the most cliche characters ever. James MacAvoy is a troubled writer who, yeah that’s all. Jessica Chastain is the battered wife who does, well essentially nothing. Bill Hader, who has been praised by several critics as the standout, basically plays himself as a comic with a slight level of alcoholism peppered in. Then you get the other people who’s name you don’t know out there. To be fair they are acting at the same level of crap that the big stars are as well, so good for them.
Once the gang is back they all go through individual nostalgic moments with plenty of scenes that include the cast from the first movie because the producers have to remind everyone how much money that made. The losers bumble around town eventually, and I cannot stress more the word EVENTUALLY, finding Pennywise’s lair. They battle a spider monster while equipped with the power of belief and… Yep that’s it. There you go, story told.
Now, let’s get down to honest critique. In a broader spectrum, “It Chapter Two” is essentially “The Goonies” starring adults but it is also so violent. The pop scares can be called from a mile away. This is made for (and perhaps by) four year olds, but I would not let a kid anywhere near the theater. Somehow the first installment centered around kids was more mature than the one with adults.
Visually, I will give Cinematographer Checco Varese some cred. There are a handful of unique images that one would not typically associate with your standard horror. Unfortunately that often gets blackballed by the madman editing style in which director Andy Muschietti has no idea how to stay on a well created shot. The early reunion of the losers club at a restaurant where they are simply talking has what seems to be 500 cuts in the span of two minutes says it all.
Visual Effects have become so amazing today, correct? No way one could notice that with this crapfest. The final spider-clown battle looks like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s face on a scorpion in “The Mummy Returns”, and that came out twenty years ago. But if you’re really going for a laugh, get ready for the naked old lady you saw stalking Jessica Chastain in the trailers. That was creepy. But when you see what they turn her into is just, well I don’t want to keep one away from a good laugh. And please keep in mind filmmakers, laughing at you not with you.
The biggest problem “It Chapter Two” has is being set in modern society. Back in the 80’s you could sell people into thinking a crazy alien clown would terrorize a town in multiple time periods and only a gang of misfits could defeat IT. Today, he would be in multiple instagram selfie’s within minutes.
Suck Factor: 6out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!