It - Lite
MovieMike - wrote on 09/19/17
I desperately wanted to like this film, I really did. After all, I'm a huge Stephen King fan, and had just finished re-reading the entire 1153 pages of the novel the movie is based on. This story is only surpassed by King's other mammoth work, 'The Stand'. But reading the novel before seeing 'It' was my first mistake. I understand that it is difficult to cram in 500+ pages of book into a 2 hour movie (I say 500+ because the film only covers half of the time-span laid out in King's novel). In watching 'It', I realized just how deep these characters are drawn in the book, but the film lacks the time to provide anywhere near the same depth for even just the main characters.
At least we do get to know the 'Losers' by their signature quirks. Bill Denbrough (well played by Jaeden Lieberher) who has a perpetual stutter and is the older brother to the story's first victim, Georgie. Stranger Thing's Finn Wolfhard (who has field day with this role) is Richie, the cut-up of the crew with his sharp wit and lame impressions. Jack Dylan Grazer is cast as the hypochondriac, Eddie, and has so many great lines throughout this story. Beverly, the lone girl in the Losers club is played by Sophia Lillis. I had a real hard time with her character, not because it wasn't a great performance, but because the team of writers chose to make her character much darker and grittier that what is portrayed in the book.
Which brings me to some other problems with the film - In attempting to 'streamline' the entire story, we get cliche characters and wonky subplots. I also wonder if it is a standing requirement that all Stephen King derived stories have adults that look like they were pulled from some lame vaudeville troupe? I was reminded of the movie 'Thinner' when I looked at some of the characters playing the parents or other adults.
Over-all, I was disappointed that the writers and directors chose not to explore the true nature of It; cut out the whole concept of Chüd; neglected to show the special nature of Silver (Bill's bike); and failed to flesh out Henry Bower's character more. In another short cut, the film skips the gang defeating It with their minds; instead this version resorts to plain old guts and gore.
I can see why the film is making good numbers at the box office, scary clowns have a mass appeal. Me, I'm hoping that the sequel can make up for lost ground.