Starring James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransome, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgård
Entertaining. Solid. Repetitive.
There’s no suspense without rules. Late film critic Roger Ebert used to point to Alice in Wonderland as an example (in wonderland where anything can happen, nearly every problem’s resolution feels like deus ex machina). There’s an element of that to the It series of films more conspicuous in the second chapter. Maybe a better analogy would be the old “it was all a dream” solution in fiction. It Chapter Two, running over two and a half hours, has a number of sequences that belong to its protagonists’ imagination. What makes these scenes eventually tedious is that we know they aren’t real and the protagonists know as well, so not only is there no suspense, but there’s very little surprise or anxiety. The fantastic first chapter overcame this by being more of a scary adventure film centered around a great cast of young characters. The second chapter picks up 27 years later with its characters-Bill, Beverly, Richie, Ben, Mike, Eddie, and Stanley-now played by James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransome, and Andy Bean;all solid and well-cast, but not nearly as compelling as their young counterparts. On the whole, It Chapter Two is still enjoyable blockbuster entertainment, but it’s not as memorable as the first.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-