Director: Andrés Muschietti
Release Date: September 6th 2019
Continuing with the winning formula of the previous film, It (2017), we once again have a star-studded cast of “Losers” (Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Bill Skarsgard), with Andy Muschietti directing again. The setup of actors leading up to this film was remarkable. Months ago when the cast was announced there was no reason not to be optimistic to see what Muschietti had in store for us. Closing in on the release date, they released the runtime (a ridiculous 169 minutes) which was alarming enough considering this isn’t the Avengers: Endgame (which was essentially built on over the span of eleven years), with a run time of 181 minutes. The runtime isn’t the only problem this film encounters but it is definitely one of many.
From the first scene, we are shot right into a spat between some “Derry” teenage homophobic boys and a gay couple. Many have been wondering what any of this has to do with the loser crew or the story. It finally ties in at the climax of the scene, after the homophobic boys beat the couple within an inch of their lives and toss one of the guys off a bridge into a river. The other gentleman goes down to the river looking for his partner and finds him being eaten by Pennywise. Keep in mind, you never see these boys or the gentleman in the film again. This was an extremely confusing scene. As a viewer many concluded that this was supposed to be Pennywise’s coming back party, eating some guy that was beaten and pretty much already dead. Clearly the idea was that this was supposed to be a horrifying first scene. Unfortunately it came off as just strange and confusing.
After the opening debacle, we catch up with the crew from the original film. We see how “It” has effected them growing up over the years. Muschietti tries to summarize what all seven members of the group have been doing in the short span of thirty minutes. This is where you have to raise the question that maybe slicing the film into a two-parter may have been needed. These scenes felt rushed, honestly the whole first half of the film seemed rushed and incoherent. When trying to explain what seven people have been doing for years, typically you need more than half an hour. Luckily the second half showcases the strengths of some of the cast, as Hader (as Richie Tozier) delivers on multiple laughs and some heartfelt moments. Skarsgard (Pennywise the Clown) sends a few scares and some (maybe unintentional) chuckles as well.
Chapter 2 felt more like an adventure film with minimal scares and comedy thrown into the fray, a mixed bag of sorts. Many people have publicly said that if you have read the original 1986 novel, it would have made more sense. For those of us who have not, it seems like there was some details missing from the novel that would have made it way more of cohesive film. Sadly, that was not the case.