It Chapter 2 was directed by Andy Muchiatti and is the conclusion to his previous hit remake of the tv series, which was based on the novel written by Stephen King. Chapter 2 takes place 27 years after the Losers had their battle with Pennywise, a shape-shifting entity that chooses to take the form mainly of a clown to scare and lure children into the sewers to eat them. The adult losers( played by Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, and Jay Ransone) aside from Mike have all left the town of Derry, and have almost forgotten what happened all those years ago. With killings starting to happen again, Mike must convince the gang to return and take down Pennywise once and for all. In this almost 3 hr long runtime director Muchiatti is able to stay true to his previous film, but cannot rise to the same level of storytelling that the first film had.
What I really loved about the first chapter was the chemistry and connection with the younger Losers club. The younger actors also have a large chunk of screen time in the 2nd chapter and I did like seeing them all back together. The adult cast also has some sparks of what their younger counterparts have on-screen, (particularly the best scene in the film in my opinion set at a Chinese restaurant) however, there is not enough time to fully re-explore the characters you watched in the first film, because they spend so much time in this film re-treading the same beats as the first film with the young cast. All of the performances are great but the MVP is certainly Bill Hader. Hader gives a very subtle and smart performance with Richie and had the best serious moments as well as funny moments in the film.
The cinematography and camera work is also very well crafted here. There are fantastic scares and while also scaring the pants off of you, are also really pleasing to look at and fun to watch. Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgard) returns in full force with another energetic and inspired performance as the dancing clown. I loved every moment he was on screen and the joy he envokes when Pennywise is luring his victims into the dark. Where the film really loses what the original had was in its story and pacing.
The adult cast doesn’t really get moments to shine in this film, mainly because of how over-bloated the story is by including so much extra from the previous film. The story expects you to understand the flashbacks you are watching took place during the first film but adds bits and pieces that only set up a scare or point in the film that they could easily have done with the adult cast. Also, the film doesn’t explain a lot of the origins of Pennywise, and what explanations they do have do not make sense.
Overall, the acting and performances by the losers young and old as well as Pennywise still shine over what is a lackluster attempt to end this set of films. I prefer the first over the second part personally but if you have 3 hrs to kill and want to see some great performances and scares, go check this out!