#REVIEW: “IT: CHAPTER TWO”
Review by Mr. Will Wong
27 years following the events of IT, the Losers’ Club are summoned once again to return to their hometown of Derry. Mike (Isaiah Washington), the only one of the band of outcasts to remain in town, gathers his estranged childhood friends together after local children once again begin to go missing again. The Losers after having forgotten their dark past, must face again head-on their deepest fears and conquer the shapeshifting monster whom they defeated in their youth. The monster in the form of Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård), proves more menacing than ever, determined to divide and conquer the band, instilling a crippling fear into them: Beverly (Jessica Chastain), Bill (James McAvoy), Eddie (James Ransome), Stanley (Andy Bean), Ben (Jay Ryan) and Richie (Bill Hader).
Director Andy Muschietti faces the ambitious task of following-up the record-setting success and global acclaim of this Film’s predecessor, also helmed by himself. This and serving justice to Stephen King. While this installment veers a bit tonally from the first, including some oddly-placed moments of humour, it certainly possesses the same heart and emotion the previous Film landed upon but not without a few scares first. Muschietti manages to master fear and suspense a bit better in the previous Film, relying a bit more on what’s off screen and sound to keep us fearful. This installment relies more on visual manifestations, more CGI trickery and gore to keep us scared and while it genuinely is scary at many points we didn’t find ourselves covering our eyes in fear like we did the first time around, but this isn’t necessarily the fault of Muschietti. We felt the same about the ’90s two-part made-for-TV movies we saw years ago. Nonetheless the Story’s message of standing up-to and sizing-down your fears still rings true today and speaks the same to a new generation.
It: Chapter Two belongs wholly to Saturday Night alumni Bill Hader, who is able to take the reins of Richie from Finn Wolfhard seamlessly. He navigates the character’s sense of humour, his fear and also some tender moments with flare. This feat is all the commendable as Chastain‘s Beverly and McAvoy‘s Bill are written at the forefront. Ransone’s Eddie is faithful to Jack Dylan Grazer‘s endearing hypochondriac and he soars as well. Ryan also leaves an impression as fat kid-turned-hottie and lovelorn Ben. Even in flashbacks, there is no denying how much we loved the chemistry of the child cast still, especially Jaeden Martell (Lieberher) as Bill.
While this second installment of It might lack the nostalgic charm that drew us in the last time, Chapter Two stands on its own as a solid piece which also has something to say.
Warner Bros. Canada release It: Chapter Two Wednesday, September 6, 2019.