The 266th review overall!
I decided to check my work email despite being on vacation, and it turns out I have some days off next week, but can’t for the life of me figure out why I had requested them off. I’ll have to talk to my boss because it’s puzzling to me. In any case, as I’m typing this, President Baby is trying so hard to hijack this computer, it was adorable watching him try to climb the ottoman. This is one persistent baby. In any case, for the movie, Becca and I went to the theater for the first time since the last Avengers and thankfully Matt was able to hook us with passes, thanks Matt! So we enjoyed some popcorn and checked out...
IT Chapter Two (2019). Movie theater!
We pick up 27 years after the events of the first It. The town of Derry is having a fair and a group of homophobic nogoodniks catch a same sex couple kissing. In a very brutal scene, the group attacks the couple in a very disturbing attack before tossing one of the men off the bridge. Once they release the other man, he goes looking for him arriving just in time for him to see Pennywise taking a huge bite out of his boyfriend. In the book a lot of the evil in the town is fostered by Pennywise. People are still horrible shits, but through his influence, people lose their inhibitions. I like that idea more than the couple just being unlucky to get spotted, but the movie pushes three hours so I understand cutting it out.
Mike Hanlon decides to investigate and after getting a message in blood on the bridge, he realizes It is back and it’s time to reunite “The Losers Club.” Each of them, outside of Mike, has moved away from Derry and are very successful in their chosen fields. Problem is, they don’t remember their childhoods, specifically their battle against “Pennywise the Dancing Clown.” In the movie, Pennywise wants them all to gather so he can kill them, plus there’s a weird explanation that, battling It gave them a disease and it’s only a matter of time before the disease kills them, and the only way to get rid of it is to defeat Pennywise once and for all. In the book, they all achieve their success and lose their memory because Pennywise made it that way. He didn’t want them coming back to finish the job and used comfortable lives and hidden memories to keep them away. It didn’t work, but still, I like that more.
Much like the book and the original miniseries, the story that follows around the adults is not as interesting. The first half is a coming-of-age story with a bunch of innocent kids battling a super-powerful unknowable evil, but this one, while the cast is phenomenal, just doesn’t have the same stakes when kids are at risk. With that said, it’s still scary. Pennywise, in clown form, only has about 10 minutes of screen time, but the movie makes very good use of his time. He’s still terrifying and the way he uses his powers to transform makes for some very cool monsters. As good as he is, still Tim Curry will always be my favorite Pennywise.
The cast has really good chemistry, and it’s weird to say this about a movie that stars James McAvoy, but Bill Hader owns this movie. He plays Richie Tozier and it’s a damn good bit of casting. After they made the first, they asked all the kids who they would like to play them in the sequel, Finn Wolfhard picked Hader and he was absolutely right. He’s really funny but never crosses the line into being the annoying guy in horror movies making jokes at the wrong time for the sake of getting shock laughs. He’s clearly terrified and his way of coping with the impossible situation is to make a joke. It just feels natural and Hader plays it off extremely well.
Before you read this read this next part, I want you to know, I liked this movie quite a bit. But there’s some things that bother me about it. First, I was never a guy who complained about CGI. But the movie throws out an homage to The Thing. A decapitated head starts growing spider legs and begins crawling around, Hader then takes a direct quote from The Thing and says, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding.” I wish they wouldn’t have done that, because then it reminded just how much better it looked in The Thing and that movie came out in the 1980’s. I couldn’t help but notice how goofy the CGI looked at the end when they’re battling the clown in his final form. No matter how good computers get, The Thing still looks better.
Now we get to the ending. There’s a recurring joke throughout that McAvoy is a wonderful writer, but the endings of his books suck. It’s a popular complaint about Stephen King (he even has a cameo where he complains about McAvoy’s ending) because a lot of King’s endings boil down to, “Then everything exploded.” I get it, endings are hard, and in the 80’s the cocaine King was taking probably did a lot of the writing for him. When looking at the book, miniseries and this movie the ending doesn’t feel satisfying. The spider fight makes a lot more sense in this one, but SEMI SPOILER COMING! IT DOESN’T GIVE AWAY THE ENDING, BUT YOU COULD PIECE IT TOGETHER IF YOU TRIED... YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! It’s just weird that the ultimate battle boils down to... hurting Pennywise’s feelings to death. END SPOILER!!!!
It’s very good, well acted, scary at most times, terrifying at others. It’s a shade under three hours, but at no point does it drag and does not feel like it’s that long. Plus, the killer Paul Bunyan statue is awesome.
8 Dr. Chainsaws!
Becca’s rating... 2 Clowns! (I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I like the ambiguity!)