‘It Chapter Two’: How Bill Hader and James Ransone Make This Unwieldy Epic Work

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After Eddie’s tragic death in It’s lair, we do see Richie carving his initials into that bridge next to his fallen friend’s, but we’re left wondering—unlike the rest of the Losers, whose futures are pretty clear—if that blissful moment of truth carries on into Richie’s post-Derry life.

But if the film doesn’t commit, Hader and Ransone do, and it’sa miracle to watch. We knew going in that these two would provide their fair share of whiz-bang banter and comic relief—it’s an SNL alum and freaking Ziggy from The Wire, come on—but it’s incredible the way both these actors navigate the subtler touches, not only between each other but in solo scenes. The slack-jawed look of sheer disbelief Hader locks on his face as Pennywise descends from atop a Paul Bunyan statue in a cloud of red balloons. The way Ransone turns a knife through the cheek courtesy of Henry Bowers (Teach Grant) into something darkly slap-sticky, like a one-scene guest-directing spot by Sam Raimi. This isn’t to say the rest of the Adult Losers don’t put in mighty performances—the casting on this movie is so insane I’m still marveling at the way Jay Ryan and Jeremy Ray Taylor somehow look nothing alike but also exactly alike—but Hader and Ransone provide flourishes that sell fear in an extremely human way, that type of feel-it-in-your bones, real-life fear that drives the It all culminates in what is, to me, the linchpin moment of their emotional arcs. (collider)

 

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