The original “IT” contained some of Stephen King’s best writing about the bond that can be made by friendship amongst children. When King is in his stride writing about kids he’s hard to touch.  “IT” also had possibly the worst ending ever imagined by King, or pretty much anyone else.
The “IT” (c2017), latterly appended with “Chapter One”, is often ranked in the top ten of King adaptations (there are more than seventy of them, “The Shining” is usually ranked at #1), though I am more than just a bit partial to the original two part TV series, where “‘John Boy’ Walton” (Richard Thomas), replete with pony tail, starred as the hero, “the (big) brother of the dead kid” (“vintage” King). Both previous filmic iterations of the original “IT” scrupulously avoided King’s ridiculous ending, for which we can all be very thankful. Great Cosmic Turtle indeed!
Derry is a small town where every 27 years* evil manifests itself in the form of “Pennywise”, a drain dwelling clown, who ventures up from the underworld to prey upon children. In between times, the town losses it’s memory, becomes unconscious of “Pennywise”. He’s there in the historical record but somehow not remembered: Kids go missing, balloons are found, the circus comes to town, “he” incidentally appears in the background of  photos or in news reports etc.
But a group of friends, “The Losers Club”, are forced to remember, in this version of “classic King” (this is the version without corrupt “government” and / or psychic powers): small town, friends (outcasts) since childhood, supernatural threat, tragedy, a quest.
“Chapter 2”?
A bit like what one of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husbands is reputed to have said of their wedding night, “You know what’s expected, the question is how do you make it interesting?”
This is about the triumph of good over evil, but triumph at a cost and without reward or acknowledgement. More so, “IT” is about vanquishing. Even without anyone knowing, anonymous sacrifice for the greater good (viz KIng’s “The body” adapted as “Stand by me”, the first film where River Phoenix stood out? But was still over shadowed by the doom of Will Wheaton, as “the brother”?).
“IT/t” looks great, maybe not quite as great as “Chapter One”, especially “Chapter One’s” vision of “Pennywise’s” netherworld. These demons look slightly leftover from “Pirates of the Caribbean” or maybe even “Creepshow”. Without the distraction of the scenery and set dressing it’s a bit easier to see the acting which is, if not exactly wooden, very predictable (but then, so is the movie).
Structurally, the movie has to negotiate the “Part II” problem, i.e. filling in the back story for those who might not have seen “Chapter I”.  And in the case of “Chapter 2” not only  does it have to provide the back story it also has to complete a pencil portrait of what the childhood characters are like 27 years later. And it takes rather a long time to do so.
This movie is not taking itself too seriously and it knows it, there’s a lot of tongue in cheek humour. There’s even a nod to “bad endings” by writers right at the beginning plus frequent allusions to other King adaptations and even a cameo from the man himself, in a scene imitative of his “Needful Things” (Good name for a band! Ditto “The Dead Zone”, “The Stand”, “The Shining” etc etc.)**. And Finn Wolfhard provides an odd but interesting forward link to “Stranger Things”, a series which is all about referencing and the referencing Stephen + Steven (King and Spielberg) in particular.
“IT” moved along okay, but the joint weren’t so much “rockin’” as “rotatin’”, mainly “goin’ round and round”.
To be honest? I thought I’d soon see Brendan Fraser (What ever happened to him?) make an appearance, “IT” had a “The Mummy” series feel about it. “Goonies” for grown-ups?
If you’ve seen all the others, you might as well see this, it’s not offensive and it’s entertaining(ish). But go on cheap day. And it is seriously long. Without good reason, even acknowledging the back story issue.
I watched “IT: Chapter 2” at Arndale Cinemas and saw shorts of Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”, as in Heath Ledger “Joker”.  Phoenix looks seriously weird. And “Joker” looks seriously good.
P.S. Stumbling around in “www.Kingdom” (There’s a lot of it about!) I eventually went to his official site, not something I would usually do (“blowing smoke up own etc….”), and I found a TV series set in Castle Rock, which is basically the centre of the King multiverse. It’s available on DVD through the one card system. No surprise.
*A reference to “The 27 Club”, perhaps?
**King actually plays/ed(?) in a band, not sure if it’s “his” band, “The Rockbottom Remainders”. As I understand it it was all authors “on holiday”, but I’m pretty sure the late Warren Levon sat in occasionally.