This article contains opinion.
“IT”…is too long.
There is no world in which this movie needed to be almost three hours in length. Andy Muschietti’s movie is so languid in its pacing and laborious to sit through. It’s an experience that’s akin to what I imagine wading through molasses would be like.
It labors through long-winded scenes that end in cheap, ineffective jump scares that come along so routinely that you can almost set a watch to it.
“IT: Chapter 2” picks up 27 years after the ending of Muschietti’s violent ode to ‘80s Spielberg with most of our heroes (the affable Losers) having grown up and moved out of the town of Derry. The only one who remains is Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa, who should be getting more film work); therefore, when bad things start to happen, he’s the one responsible for bringing everybody back together to fulfill the oath they made as kids to “kill this f---ing clown.”
From there, the film tries to tackle issues of facing trauma that’s necessary to face, but people do their best to ignore (everyone but Mike literally forgot about Pennywise, which leads to excruciating scenes of exposition to catch everyone up).
The movie just can’t really commit, though. Mushietti is instead focused on just making a lazy jump scare factory that never fully finds its way to explore any of Stephen King’s deeper themes on the intersection of youth, adulthood and trauma.
The one thing that fully works in this movie is the ensemble. Mustafa, James McAvoy (who’s woefully miscast as Bill Denbrough), Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Bill Hader work overtime to really give the characters the feeling of how no matter how far you get from your oldest friends, whenever you get together, you immediately transform back into the same people you were, for good or ill, when you were 13.
Hader and Ransone are the true highlights here. They bounce off each other perfectly; it’s insane that a studio hasn’t already greenlit a two-hander for them, even though the movie’s only been out for a week.
Like the first film, the highlights of this one is all about watching the characters hangout and play off each other.
The film is at its strongest when it stops trying to be a “serious” horror film and becomes a chill hangout movie about reconnecting with people you thought you’ve moved past.
It’s just too bad the movie is at a loss for its identity, and by the time you get to the final showdown, you’re too exhausted to care, but unfortunately you still have another 30 minutes before you’re free.