IT CHAPTER TWO movie poster
It's been 27 years since the terrifying clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) terrorized the town of Derry, Maine and the young members of the Losers Club. Now Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only club member to stay in Derry, knows that Pennywise has returned. He summons his grown up pals to fulfill their childhood pact and end this menace for good.

The final cinematic chapter, based on Stephen King's 1986 novel and the sequel to "It" (2017), is a satisfying slam-bang horror epic. Nearly three hours in length, it covers
everything in detail. Ultimately, the movie goes on too long (over a half hour longer than the first film) trying to capture the same magic. There are numerous flashbacks mixed throughout - keeping the kid club members involved. The relationships, emotions, foibles and fears of all the main characters are on display in depth. But there is also plenty of time for the frightening Bill Skarsgård to practice his Pennywise skills. Once again, Andy Muschietti handles the directing chores - expertly blending past and present and providing a barrage of shuddering special effects (I jumped more than once). The screenplay by Gary Dauberman does justice to the book and the cast is terrific. Bill Hader gives a powerful, career-defining performance as the older Richie (Finn Wolfhard appears again as the younger version) - in line with his magnificent work in the TV series "Barry". Jessica Chastain carries many scenes as the grown up Beverly, with Sophia Lillis back as the youth. The rest of the Losers Club are well-represented. James McAvoy is the adult, stuttering former club leader Bill (Jaeden Martell returns as the youngster) who lost his brother to Pennywise. Jay Ryan plays the older, slimmed-down Ben with Jeremy Ray Taylor back as the overweight youth. James Ransone is the adult and Jack Dylan Grazer is the youthful hypochondriac Eddie. As Stanley, Andy Bean is the older version of Wyatt Oleff's youth. Being a retired ASU (their PBS station) employee, I was interested in Isaiah Mustafa as the adult Mike (Chosen Jacobs is back as the kid). He was a football teammate of the late war hero Pat Tillman. As proven here, acting suits Isaiah quite well. The atmospheric cinematography of Checco Varese and Benjamin Wallfisch's music score add to the sense of dread. There are revelations along the way and a couple of cameos. While not as good as the 2017 thriller, this is at least a fitting finale. "It Chapter Two" supplies King-sized chills. (3/5 CAMS)

Rated R (for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material)
Running Time: 169 minutes

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