Guest Contributor: 'IT: Chapter 2’s' third act saves a rather flat movie.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: CJ ROLAND
Let me preface this off by saying I love the first It movie. I found It to have an amazing cast of young actors that an audience could easily identify their youth with. It also was shot beautifully and had excellent pacing. So, with that in mind, my expectations going into It: Chapter 2 were pretty high. I was not rewarded for my anticipation.
It seems like more of these big blockbuster movies are trying to push the limits of how long a movie can run. Long movies can be great, just look at Avengers: Endgame, but if the movie can’t keep itself fresh throughout, things can get stale really quick. This is the case for It: Chapter 2. The first act is pretty unremarkable, as you may expect, but the second act goes completely stale. Every scene during that middle act is a copy and paste version of the scenes that proceed it, just for a different character. This cookie-cutter style becomes completely predictable and makes the movie far less suspenseful. For a horror movie, it does not provide the scares needed to keep one engaged. You know exactly what is going to happen in each scene before it happens.
Luckily, for the audience, the third act completely turns the movie around. Bill Hader’s performance as Richie Tozier steals the show. Bill Hader has been surprising me more and more with his acting range from his role in HBO’s dark comedy series Barry (an absolute must-watch show), now to this role. He has come along way from his SNL days playing Stefon.
The rest of the entire adult cast does a good job adapting the younger counterparts. As I kind of expected going into this movie, the film loses its charm strictly due to the characters being older. I found it harder to empathize with an adult going through the horror of Pennywise compared to a child.
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise does a fantastic job of making your skin crawl. His facial expressions alone will give you chills. Although, for a movie that centers itself on a cannibalistic clown, there was not enough of the clown in the movie. Most of the horror comes from other disturbing imagery - which does not have the same power as the clown did.
The final act makes an otherwise flat movie worth the watch. The last hour has you on the edge of your seat with its high-octane pacing. While it is eerily similar to the first movie, it provides enough twists to keep it… somewhat original. It was a loud spectacle without getting too cheesy.
Verdict: Wait for streaming. This movie was ultimately a letdown. While it is not a horrible movie by any stretch, it just doesn’t have the sting power to go out of your way to see in theaters.
If you wish to be a Guest Contributor for Underscore, send your pitch to Reed@gounderscore.com.
Follow us | @gounderscore