The starry second part of the Stephen King adaptation coasts on connections from the first film
IT: CHAPTER 2 (Andy Muschietti). Opens Friday (September 6). 169 minutes. See listing. Rating: NN
The young cast was the most memorable part in 2017’s breakout hit, It, playing teens coping with the horrors of puberty and bullying. Yeah, there was a killer clown, too. He had his moments.
But now that young cast has been consigned to flashback duty.
It: Chapter 2 picks up 27 years later. The clown, Pennywise, played so creepily by Bill Skarsgård, returns to terrorize the small town of Derry. The pubescent teens played by Jaeden Martell, Finn Wolfhard and Sophia Lillis make way for James McAvoy, Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain as their adult versions. They’re summoned back to Derry to face the monster from their childhood.
The adult actors are fine and talented folk who resemble their younger counterparts in both looks and performance. But they can’t muster up the chemistry or emotions to make us care about their new (or returning) emotional issues. Instead, the movie coasts on the connections that were made from the first chapter, trotting out flashbacks as a ploy to remind us to care.
But who could care for nearly three hours? Muschietti’s faithful adaptation, with all its creative and creepy set pieces, can’t justify that ass-numbing run time especially not when the characters are just doing a lot of the same things they did in the first movie. They run into cobwebbed houses, stare down nightmarish visions and get tangled up with a clown that can morph into all kinds of silly, gigantic creatures. It’s all so easily forgettable.