When IT Chapter 2 clocks in at more than two-and-a-half hours to cover backstory, to revel in the fears the Loser’s Club tried to leave behind made up most of the film. My interest was to see the changes writer Gary Dauberman and director Andrés Muschietti made since it’d probably be silly to have a cosmic turtle enter the film and they would not feature the kids come of age, like in how Stephen King wrote it.
The explanations are short and sweet in. I wanted more information to establish how this entity woke up again. When Bill (James McAvoy and Jaeden Martell), Bev (Jessica Chastain and Sophia Lillis), Ben (Jay Ryan and Jeremy Ray Taylor), Richie (Bill Hader and Finn Wolfhard), Mike (Isaiah Mustafa and Chosen Jacobs), Stanley (Andy Bean and Wyatt Oleff) and Eddie (James Ransone and Jack Dylan Grazer) departed Derry, Maine, they buried their memories of everything that happened in the first film. Their reunion 27 years was to finish what they started–to put an end to the threat that has returned to feast.
We guess the homophobia and mugging which took place in the opening act was enough to cause the beast to awaken—Pennywise looked like he got out of bed.
In adapting this Stephen King’s work to a two-part film, certain chapters offered in the book had to get cut. The most noticeable includes the point of view from the beast. Without a force of good to help the Loser’s Club, I had to wonder how the past would help. The aboriginal origin of how it arrived and the local tribe put it into place felt cut short. The studios could have easily approved a prequel movie before Chapter Two.
Admittedly, realizing this transcendental force can be more comical than eerie. Through clever shadow effects or simply reimagining Matubin as a nebula in a vague form of a turtle can do the job just as well. Since Pennywise true form is a cluster of light orbs, not every cosmic force needs to look like a Lovecraftian pod of fungal nebulous matter or goo ala Spawn.
This chapter essentially deals with the group confronting their personal demons individually. When they realize they have the power to defeat Pennywise together than apart, the changes done to this work were very amiable without getting to hokey.
Bill Skarsgård continues to be terrific as the malicious trans-dimensional evil plaguing the town. He has more devil-may-care moments to enjoy, and even though part of it is through motion-capture performances, the technology has come a long way to get those facial expressions down. To see that clown face atop a spider’s body makes him no Drider from AD&D. If only that effort was put into The Mummy Returns, then I’d be sold. It’s well known this film was rushed, and thankfully IT Chapter 2 had two years to get the lighting and photo realism right.
The only iffy elements are that we see McAvoy (also known as Professor X in X-Men) play superhero yet again, but minus the powers. The choice of casting him is intentional in order to get the box office dollars. His performance is always solid and it’s going to be tough for him to break typecasting.
As for whether more of Stephen King’s works will get adapted for cinema, I feel it’s unlikely more IT will continue. Most of this author’s work has been done to varying degrees of success, and for me wanting more would be in seeing the author himself write an original screenplay to bridge all these details together. Yes, The Dark Tower needs a reboot and it should be a trilogy!
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