Written by: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou
In a world where survival almost doesn’t feel worth the trouble, finding any semblance of hope can truly make the difference in taking one more step. The search for this continues to propel this narrative forward after the characters reel from what occurred in the previous film. While adding more expansion to this world and its other survivors, A Quiet Place Part II ultimately feels like a step-down, albeit an entertaining one.
On the road looking for other survivors, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her children make their way looking for a new sanctuary when they run into someone they knew prior to this apocalypse, Emmett (Cillian Murphy). Upon hearing a transmission for what could possibly indicate a colony of survivors, Emmett and Regan (Millicent Simmons) make their way there with plenty of obstacles in the way.
Following the smash success of its predecessor, this feature has quite the hill to climb seeing as the first film felt so self-contained and mysterious. With the monsters being out in the open and not so much shadowy figures, this film takes a distinct switch into having more action than horror. The once unkillable monsters have a weakness and these characters must use it to their advantage with enough time to find real refuge.
Opening with a scene from the past where it shows when these aliens first arrived on Earth, the feature begins with its very best scene. In it, the sequence shows the Abbott family attending a baseball game and living the type of life anyone would enjoy. Then the aliens arrive and it displays where director John Krasinski shines. Switching from Regan who is hearing impaired to the other characters, it captures the horror of these monsters’ first appearance in such an affecting manner. Unfortunately, everything else in the feature steadily declines in what makes these features attractive as stories.
Instances, where it stumbles, are not having faith in simply leaving some characters behind. While a fault, this gets mixed in with one of the film’s biggest positive attributes. With Krasinski getting the leading role in the first film and dying, the torch gets passed down to Millicent Simmonds as Regan, as she gets much more screen time and plenty of character work as well. While this feature could have focused the narrative on her, Krasinski felt the need to keep tabs on the other characters, which left him making up reasons why these characters would find themselves in peril. Their presence in the film, as a result, feels completely forced with it only being relevant because the characters make absolutely idiotic decisions. So dumb, it made me switch allegiances to the monsters at several points in the third act. Emily Blunt and Noah Jupe were essentially left out to dry and simply remained in the narrative because they were contractually attached to the film without much narrative sense.
With Simmonds stepping up in this sequel, her teaming up with Cillian Murphy’s Emmett pairs two strong actors together who find strong chemistry. It felt so good seeing Murphy star in a major movie again and the way this man enters the fray in this film and acts everyone out of the room demonstrates what a talent the man has always been. The artistry in his acting comes from what he can do with his eyes, especially for different segments throughout where he covers much of his face. So much gets portrayed through those piercing eyes of his and while some of the added elements of this feature fall flat, he certainly does not fall into that category.
Featuring more action this go-around this film certainly steps it up in showing the brutality of what occurs in this now-barren world. Now, nothing will ever top the nail on the step from the first film but another scene shows Krasinski truly has no problem in injuring the feet of his characters in an agonizing manner. More monsters mean more artillery and A Quiet Place Part II definitely delivers this in droves for our entertainment including the original creatures being the only threats out there.
Very much a different tone and direction, A Quiet Place Part II comes in as an acceptable sequel even with it being quite the drop-off from what came before it. The feature finds itself delivering more actions and following the theme of the children having to step up where the adults cannot. This gets outlined throughout the two films and this throughline definitely adds something meaningful tethering these tales together.