A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Makes Big Noise at the Box Office and with Critics
Title: A Quiet Place Part II
First Wide Release: 5/20/2021 (Theatrical Release)
Director: John Krasinski
Writer: John Krasinski, Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Starring: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Picking up where the first film left off, the Abbott family must leave their home after it was destroyed by the vicious creatures that hunt by sound. Now knowing how to better fight them, the family decides that it is time to leave. Embarking on a journey to find a new home, the Abbots discover that there is more to fear in this new world than the monsters that lurk in the shadows. Eventually, the eldest daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) discovers a hidden signal in the radio that may be leading the family to promises of a normal life. The first mega-hit since the beginning of the pandemic, A Quiet Place Part II continues the world-building of a terrifying future infested by monsters.
A faithful continuation, A Quiet Place Part II is a satisfying sequel that revs up the tension and scares that made the first a success.
John Krasinksi has done it again! Many were skeptical on how he would continue the film, but A Quiet Place Part II is steeped in agonizing suspense and rich world building. The introduction of new characters, particularly Emmett (Cillian Murphy), takes the film in a new direction, abandoning the simplicity of the farmhouse for the terror of the unknown world. Emmett fits in with the cast well while adding a new flavor to the dynamic. Both his and Regan’s character arcs are well-done and believable given their circumstances.
It’s visually dynamic and engaging, with the camera working to tantalize the audience to unbearable levels during moments of suspense. There are so many sneaky moments in the film that foreshadow what will happen next. Subtle visual cues and camera tricks, make the film almost like a game to guess which chain of events will be set off next. There are also plenty of call backs to the previous film, which fans will appreciate from a continuity standpoint. And much like the first film, Krasinski utilizes incredible sound design to make the viewing experience as uncomfortable and tense as possible.
While the first focused on family dynamics and banding together, the sequel explores the coming-of-age reality of the apocalypse. The two youngest characters are thrust into roles that they are simultaneously unprepared for yet capable of executing. The first film let their parents shine and, in the sequel, we see how the kids are expected to continue on despite all that’s happened. Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe live up to that expectation and more.
While Blunt, Simmonds, and Murphy will all attract attention for their fantastic performances, Jupe absolutely killed it on multiple parts and carried what would have been “filler” moments if left in the hands of a less capable younger actor. One of the best moments in the film involves Jupe screaming which is both haunting and nauseating.
The film isn’t without its flaws of course. It’s chock full of conveniences to ensure the plot moves along appropriately. A good example that comes to mind involves a dock near the end of the film’s second act. The dock is not explored enough, nor does it make much sense in that sort of apocalyptic scenario. It falls in line with the plot convenience aspect of the film more than anything. They’re easy to ignore but Krasinski could have gone a different route here. The score feels a bit overwrought for the premise of a film relying on silence. It never lingers too long, however, due to the relentless pace of the film.
A Quiet Place Part II certainly earns the critical and box office success it has garnered thus far. As every bit of intense and breathless as its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II does struggle to top the original, feeling more like a bridge between the first film and the third film in an expected trilogy. It does so, however, do it justice, providing plenty of memorable set pieces and situations that will have even the most jaded of genre fan gripping their seats. Both satisfying in character development and creature carnage, A Quiet Place Part II stays true to the heart of the original while expanding the universe in an appropriate manner. A Quiet Place Part II is guaranteed to leave a loud and lasting impression in your brain until the next chapter rolls into theaters.
Overall Score? 7.5/10