Release Date: Sep 6, 2019
MPA Rating: R (for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material)
Runtime: 2h 49min
Directed By: Andy Muschietti
Written By: Gary Dauberman and Steven King
Starring: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgard
It has been 27 years since “The Losers” defeated Pennywise, the maniacal supernatural being that preys on children. As preteens this group of misfits were confronted with “IT” after it murdered Bill’s brother, Georgie. Now, it is calling them all back to Derry, as it begins terrorizing the community again. After some dramatic moments, the crew does reunite and create a plan to defeat Pennywise once and for all.
It: Chapter 2 begins in of all places at the town’s fair. We watch a couple enjoying themselves at the fair, and then become victims of an attack initiated by the local hoodlums. This leads to an encounter with the newly returned evil being, Pennywise. A murder occurs and we see a vast array of red balloons appear, which are the tell-tale sign of IT’s presence. Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), one of “The Losers” who never left Derry, hears about the incident and investigates. He discovers that the old foe he and his friends fought 27 yrs earlier has returned. This leads him to contacting his old friends to bring them all back to Derry for one final confrontation.
“The Losers” have all grown up and are successful adults now. We see them living their new lives and careers while Mike calls all of them. All except one do return. After they return, they learn of Mike’s plan to defeat IT and eventually agree to try. This is only after having second-thoughts and multiple times of changing their minds. At the same time, Pennywise is tormenting them in various ways as they recall their pasts in Derry. Everyone except Mike has experienced some degree of amnesia after their first encounter with IT. Through multiple flashbacks in the movie we learn more about the group of friends and their summer of 89′. These help explain the types of adults they have grown up to be.
Eventually, there is a showdown with Pennywise back in the original chamber where “The Losers” defeated him before. After a long battle, a clear winner or winners prevails. This seemingly ends the war between IT and “The Losers” for good. There are no end credit scenes either, so the story is now likely over.
For good reason I had high expectations for the second installment of IT. The first movie back in 2017 broke records and was highly successful. The scare factor was there, and everything made sense. In Chapter 2, the level of fright is lacking. Although the acting is highly pleasing, especially by McAvoy, the horror we saw in the first chapter isn’t as satisfying in the next chapter. Sure, there are some really good jump scares throughout the movie, but Pennywise does not appear as maniacal as he was three decades earlier. Maybe it’s because the main characters are adults now, and when children face evil, it’s a much more sinister situation.
Even so, I did enjoy IT: Chapter 2, but it just wasn’t on the same level as the first one was. There were scenes in the movie that I felt could have been left out. For me these included the opening scene of an adult being murdered, and how Mike learned of a plan to defeat Pennywise. After watching the movie, you’ll likely understand why these were unneeded as well. I wish the director had trimmed the length of the movie (which was almost three hours long) and focused more on encounters between IT and the main characters. Besides this, the final battle was lacking too. The movie could have had a much more pleasing ending that did not make me walk away with me saying, “That was it?”
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars