It: Chapter Two

MOVIE REVIEW: Can “It Chapter Two” Do the Impossible? (& Parent Review)

Director Andrew Muschietti is attempting the impossible with It Chapter Two, by recreating a story that was damn-near indecipherable to begin with.
Want proof?
Sit down with five fans of the original Stephen King book and ask them to explain the ending of It. You will probably get five equally confusing answers.
The ending wasn’t the reason we fell in love with It though. Fans like me were pulled in by the young heroes from the first half, who battled evils that were supernatural and man-made. We didn’t care about that second muddy act because we were still riding a high from Part 1. That makes Muscietti’s task even more daunting and sadly, there aren’t enough rewrites or Hollywood funny guys to save this one.
It Chapter Two takes us 27 years after Chapter One, where the Losers Club has moved on to lives outside of Derry. All but one have forgotten their battle with Pennywise the Clown, but they must reassemble once the murders recommence. It: Chapter Two bounces from long-winded explanations to one-liners from there, and to scenes of bombastic terror for nearly three hours.
A solid cast featuring James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain do their best to carry this flick, but the only person who pulls it above water is Bill Hader. He’s heartfelt and hilarious but the humor often feels out of place, given the circumstances. Our young cast (who were so brilliant in Chapter One) has returned in the form of flashbacks, but even they seem tired of telling this story. It Chapter Two relies on fantastic scares to punch up the proceedings, which are successful to an extent. Even these occasionally blow so far off the charts that they register more as humor than terror.
Despite all of this, I enjoyed It Chapter Two.
I’m an original fan of the book and know how impossible it is for anyone to tell this story. I appreciate ANY attempt at it, even if it results in a cheesy 1990 mini-series. I also respect any filmmaker, actor or actress who would stake their career on this difficult-to-tell story. Yes, It Chapter Two is a mess of a film, but one that HAD be made to give Chapter One a resolution. And despite the excessive length, dialogue and blood (oh GOD so much blood!), I still had an absolute blast watching it. (B)
Parent Review: My initial Parent Review stated that It Chapter One should NOT be seen by kids under 14. I caved once it was released on cable though, and have it watched multiple times with my whole family (even the 12-year-old). We are all big fans now and, as a result, both of my kids expect to see It Chapter Two. This one is also rated R and offers the same levels of violence, gore and sex-talk, but the latter feels less shocking because it comes from adults. If you were comfortable watching Part 1 with your kids, then Part 2 shouldn’t be an issue IF you don’t mind CGI monster nudity. I’m not going to explain THAT any further, except to say that these are the types of boobies NO ONE wants to see. Again, I would recommend It Chapter Two to kids 14 and older, though I will probably break my own rule and watch it with my 12-year-old. Parents who are still unsure should watch it without their kids first to decide.

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