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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cindy Prascik's Review of It Chapter 2

Yesterday it was (finally) back to the cinema for It Chapter 2.

Spoiler level here will be moderate, nothing plot-related, but I'll offer one general thought that may be considered spoilerey. Forewarned is forearmed.

Nearly three decades after the events of Chapter 1, the Losers Club is called back to Derry to face off with their old nemesis.

It Chapter 2 is easily the weaker half of this iconic Stephen King tale, and stretching it to a bloated three-hour runtime did it no favors, though steady pacing keeps the movie from bogging down too much. Creature and gore effects are solid, and the de-aging process used on the youngsters from Chapter 1 didn't bother me, though it's been much maligned elsewhere. There isn't much scary about the film--even the cheap jump scares are too obvious to have much effect--but it is blessed with a talented, likable cast, fronted by Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy. McAvoy and the less-decorated Bill Hader are especially strong throughout. The kids from Chapter 1 are still solid, though with far less to do than in round one. Frankly, the adults are never quite as interesting.

On the strength of its cast and well-formed characters, It Chapter 2 works best when focused on people and relationships. The story of friendship, reconnecting, and redemption is a timeless one that never fails to engage; unfortunately, the horror/fantasy aspects just don't measure up, and even come off a bit laughable. Thanks to a few tweaks, this version of IT feels less melancholy than the original, and I fear it will fade from memory much more quickly.

It Chapter 2 clocks in at 169 minutes and is rated R for "disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some sexual material."

Despite its many flaws, you'll still want to see the Losers Club through to the end with It Chapter 2.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, It Chapter 2 gets six. Until next time...

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