The Reel Review
This follow-up to It, the well done 2017 film adaptation of the popular Stephen King novel, picks up 27 years after the group of kids had banished Pennywise, the clown-disguised demon killing children in Derry, Maine. Now adults, the self-proclaimed “Losers Club” is summoned to return to their hometown when the killing resumes.
Among the film’s positives are a nice message about conquering one’s past demons (both figuratively and in this case, literally) to have a sunnier future, Bill Hader (who is hilarious as the adult Richie), and camera work by director Andy Muschietti (It, Mama), who cleverly weaves flashbacks of the younger characters into the adult storylines.
But at three hours, this film easily overstays its welcome by AT LEAST an hour. The muddled story seems confused as to whether it wants to be a horror, a comedy, or an Indiana Jones-style action movie – and sadly, it succeeds at none. It is further hampered by corny dialogue, overacting by the cast (James McEvoy in particular), distractingly cartoonish special effects and some ill-timed comic relief. The result is a bloated, sloppy and largely uninspired story, particularly when compared to its way stronger predecessor.
• “It” novelist Stephen King has a cameo role in the film as the employee at the pawn shop.
• Each of the child stars of It were asked who they wanted to play the adult versions of themselves in It: Chapter Two. Two of their choices – Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader – ended up getting cast.
• Several child actors from the 2017 film had to be digitally “de-aged” in this film because they had grown so much since its release.