More noise than signal

It: Chapter 2

Republished from the show notes of my other site, Fuds on Film.

Two years ago, you may remember that Supposedly Scary Clown Fever stalked the land as It: Retroactively Chapter 1 became wildly successful, for Lord knows what reason. Now we have the second half of that story, and, well, if the first film was at least an hour too long, the outing means that as a gestalt it’s four hours too long.

The kiddywinks of the Losers Club, while all returning in various flashbacks and the like, are in the main represented by their near thirty years older incarnations, with an admittedly promising cast containing the likes of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader taking the focus as they discover that Pennywise is up to his old murderous tricks again and resolve to return to Derry and kill him. Again. Poor Bill Skarsgård.

In fact, the overall high level structure of the film is so close to that of the previous film, right up to how Pennywise is dealt with, that there’s not all that much point going into it in any more detail.

Now, for maybe ten minutes, there’s a setup that looks like it might be kind of clever. It opens with an absolutely horrendous assault on two guys by a group of homophobes that’s quite shocking, with Pennywise just showing up a little later, as though perhaps it’s going to be more of a force that’s inciting others to violence rather than direct scary clown action.

That, however, it immediately discarded in favour of a big ol’ pile of CG garbage that look laughable. Literally laughable. I laughed. A lot. Which was cool, but this is supposed to be scary, and not more akin to something The Asylum would reject as looking a bit too pony.

And, well so it goes, and goes, and goes, and I didn’t care about a damn minute of it. Now, it’s not one hundred percent dumpster fire, as, well, as mentioned it’s a solid, likeable cast, both young and old, and for Stephen King’s many faults as a writer he can produce solid characters and interactions, and there’s a few moments when the CG treadmills are shut down and some of that can play out, to reasonably enjoyable results.

However, that’s a few drops of joy in a torrent of untreated sewage. It’s so bad at points I think they’re trying to treat it as a joke, but we must be vigilant and not let them away with this. I’m sure there’s been worse films than this released this year, but I’ve not seen any of them. If you’ve not already been suckered into watching it, stay well away from it. Not even worth pirating.