‘It Chapter Two’ Review: A Casting Triumph, But Bloated Sequel Repeats First Movie’s Mistakes

IndieWire | 9/3/2019 | Staff
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The promise of Andy Muschietti’s much-anticipated sequel “It Chapter Two” is in its tagline: “Witness the End of It.” It’s both the end of “It,” the eponymous alien being that took on the visage of a horrifying clown to terrorize the children in the fictitious town of Derry; and of “It,” a sprawling Stephen King-crafted nightmare that follows the plucky kids who organize to bring him down.

Despite some massive updates from the first film, including the addition of an entirely new cast of much-less-plucky adults and a vibe so dark it borders on the grotesque, this “It” is not so different than its predecessor. It’s not quite the end of it, it’s more a continuation of it, and one plagued by old problems that should have been solved long before it even attempted to conclude itself. Still, much of the promise is held: It is the end of something, and a haltingly satisfying one at that.

Years - Events - Film - Chapter - Core

Picking up 27 years after the events of the first film, “It Chapter Two” quickly sets about reuniting its core crew once Pennywise AKA It AKA Terrifying Space Alien Thing returns to wreak havoc in Derry. One problem: they don’t quite remember Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), or how they defeated him, or their childhood pledge to return to battle him, or even each other or Derry itself. Pennywise’s powers might be so wide-ranging as to be nearly impossible to understand, but Muschietti and Dauberman nail one of his strangest: the further you get from him and from Derry, the less you remember about it all.

“It Chapter Two”

Warner - Bros

Warner Bros.

Thankfully, there is one person who remembers: Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa), who has taken over as the group’s historian and stayed in Derry all these years, both to hold fast to what happened to the so-called Losers’ Club as...
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