Will probably be downvoted for this, but this is outrageously ****e. Like, I'm slightly dumfounded how ****e it is. I'd only seen some mixed reviews rather than the outright bad ones, so the scale of this cluster**** genuinely caught me off guard.
Part one was nothing special, but it was an inoffensively competent afternoon at the cinema. This drives over the cliff in comparison. Almost everything about it is embarrassingly misjudged.
It's five hours too long, to start, even though it's only 169 minutes long. The editing is all over the place, and there are numerous false starts before we get anywhere near the meat of the main narrative. They don't have anything interesting for Pennywise to do, so they stick in a bunch of random kill scenes that add nothing of value. The middle act is truly insufferably over-egged as we watch every main character individually confront some tedious past (or, in an example of the film's often confusing & inconsistent world-rules, present) trauma at great length. And then the big, CG-filled finale goes on for what feels like an hour. I love long films, but they need to earn it. This, a dumb movie about a clown monster, has more endings than Lord of the Rings (the camera literally tilts to the sky and shows some on-screen text at one point... then goes on for another 5-10 ****ing minutes). The less said about the appalling asylum escape subplot, the better - z-grade schlock with one of the worst performances I've seen in a very, very long time.
The writing is dreadful - some inherited from the source material, admittedly, but the dialogue is shameful too. All the characters still act like they're 14, even though they're middle-aged. That's a deeper problem with the film, though. Whereas the concept of kids facing off against a scary clown is a fun one, make adults do the same, and it swiftly turns preposterous. Well, at least in this case it does. Not that the kids fare much better, getting a bunch of scenes that feel like deleted ones from the first film. Its ultimate trips towards mumbo-jumbo - I feel sorry for the actors having to say Ritual of Chüd with a straight face - and
inadequate science fiction explanations do not even remotely work.
In terms of filmmaking, it's incompetent as well. There are few interesting visual ideas, and at times feels oddly amateurish (the colour-grading shifts between several scenes felt very off to me). There's no sense of atmosphere or place. The prime example is the guesthouse/hotel that hosts much of the film's group gatherings: it simply does not feel like a remotely credible location. It's just always wholly deserted, ready to host whatever shouting match or horrific experience the Losers Club are involved in at any given moment. The town of Derry is a glorified studio backlot here.
Anything to write home about? Some of the more grotesque monster designs are memorable although never actually frightening. Some of the actors like Bill Hader give it their best shot but are fatally stymied by the hopeless script. That's about it.
It's striking to have seen it in close proximity to Ready or Not. That film won't go down as a classic, but it is a sharply-designed thrill ride that accomplishes with it sets out to do with merit. It knows its lane and sticks with it to very pleasant effect. It Chapter Two, in contrast, not only refuses to stay in its lane, it decides to veer wildly across multiple lanes only to wind up broken and immediately forgotten in a goddamn ditch.
EDIT: I knew I'd be downvoted but Jaysus lads. If you're going to downvote something at least explain why you disagree with the opinion than just blindly clicking downvote. Easily the worst feature of the comment section imo.