A Quiet Place Part II Movie Review
In the thrilling opening sequence to the pandemic-delayed A Quiet Place Part II, Jon Krasinski, Emily Blunt and family join the rest of the town to watch a friendly Little League game when, as sporting events tend to go, something crashes from the sky and unleashes hordes of sound-sniffing monsters upon the quaint community.
Within these first few moments, Krasinski the director reminds us of what made the first film so successful--excellent staging, clever use of sound (and silence), and the constant threat that at any moment things can go sideways. It’s an excellent opening, one that you wish would never end.
Of course, this isn’t the prequel A Less Quiet Place, and so Krasinski hunkers down behind the camera and lets his off-and-on-screen wife take the lead, forcing her off the fire-ravaged farm and into the wilderness. Or your stereotypical abandoned industrial warehouse.
A Quiet Place Part II successfully expands the incredibly contained world of its predecessor, while staying true to the elements that made it so effective. While Krasinski doesn’t necessarily break any new ground here, he breathes enough new oxygen into the concept to sustain a sequel. The characters feel a little more stagnant here, the loss of Krasinski as a central character weighing heavily on the story. Blunt is still good but feels muted, the decision to send her and the family fleeing for help (and to another man) somewhat odd when the first movie left her as the tough-as-nails matriarch. The addition of Cillian Murphy is inspired, but the movie doesn’t take full advantage of his skill set.
More inspiring is that deaf actress Millicent Simmonds gets even more to do this go around, though I wish she had been given the sole lead role. Krasinski seems to be intrigued by letting his deaf character venture into the world, but is unwilling to commit to the compelling though potentially challenging opportunity of A Truly Quiet Place. He instead opts to spread the focus, and separate his characters, leading to an entertaining if slightly disparate experience.
Even if the story doesn’t fully live up to its potential (and the abrupt ending is ho-hum), A Quiet Place Part II still delivers on the thrills. Krasinski assembles several well-staged sequences that inch you toward the edge of your seat, and that’s more than enough to make this exhilarating sequel worth a visit.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.