May 28th, 2021
MOVIE: A QUIET PLACE PART II
STARRING: EMILY BLUNT, MILLICENT SIMMONDS, CILLIAN MURPHY, NOAH JUPE, DJIMON HOUNSOU
DIRECTED BY: JOHN KRASINSKI
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
In 2018 John Krasinski changed the direction that his career was headed with the big hit A Quiet Place. It was the first time that the star from The Office would be working alongside his wife Emily Blunt, but it would also be the movie that made him more than just a smirking Jim Halpert, but a director to take notice of. At the most, Krasinski had something here, a movie where monsters attacked anyone or thing that made a noise, and put audiences in a position where they had to be silent themselves. The next move was obvious for Krasinski to make a sequel, but then the pandemic hit, and an immediate halt was put on his big follow-up. Now, we finally see things opening up, and we can start to make some noise about A Quiet Place Part II. The adventure picks up where things left off in the first installment, with the Abbott family still fighting to survive against the vicious, gangly, and super sensitive hearing monsters, hoping to live for another day. Only this time their hopes for survival have them on the move, away from the farm, and with the promise that the beasts can be eradicated once and for all.
Once again, Krasinski directs and co-writes, along with original scribes Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, and this story starts back at day 1, where the Abbotts are a big happy family of five, watching Marcus (Noah Jupe) play baseball, with father Lee (Krasinski) in the stands with daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and mother Everylyn (Blunt) pushing little Beau on a swing. It’s not long before a blast occurs in the sky, halting the game, sending everyone home, and then the monsters appear, attacking people in the small town. That was then, and it was followed by the events in the first Quiet Place, but now it’s just Everylyn, Marcus, Regan and their newborn, after dad has sacrificed himself for their survival, and now they at least know how to hurt the monsters. That still doesn’t make things easier, it just means humanity has a chance.
There are multiple reasons why A Quiet Place is both a big hit among audiences today and why you need to suspend logical thinking. Keeping the world completely silent is not a possible task and you throw in a brand new baby and it’s even more ridiculous. But for Krasinski and crew, they make A Quiet Place Part II not about staying quietly in place, but keeping our characters on the run. A majority of this installment feels like one long raptor scene from Jurassic Park. The family treks across train tracks and roads, where the sand trail comes to an end, and eventually find themselves holed up in an abandoned factory with the help of an old friend named Emmett (A bearded Cillian Murphy). They can stay for a bit, but soon the groups split in two, with Regan going on a mission to find a signal they hear on the radio, which she hopes to broadcast the screeching sound waves from her hearing device to help take down the monsters.
The middle sections of A Quiet Place Part II drags more than the original film, while it is also missing that initial impact, but at least Krasinski has his formula down. He turns the tide from the first installment being about parents protecting their children, and transitions this to the children growing up fast to protect those they love. But what is still the best part about these films is the blind, impenetrable, hyper hearing beings. They have long limbs like a massive mantis, with claws that tear through metal, and with Krasinski’s direction and the cinematography by Polly Morgan, A Quiet Place Part II has perfected ways of making us afraid of their existence.
The second half of the narrative expands beyond just the family, but the scatters of other humans that may be surviving in the world. Murphy’s character is a man destroyed by it all, barely keeping it together, and struggling to trust anyone. The narrative pairs Murphy with Simmond’s which is by far the most unexpected and awesome teamings in a movie of 2021. Simmond’s proves she’s not just one of the best rising stars in cinema today, but can kick some alien monster ass if needed.
Although the depth of A Quiet Place Part II is thin, where the story isn’t rushing to discover more about where these monsters come from, John Krasinski still has a good thing going. He keeps the runtime lean (a bullet fast hour and thirty minutes), the monsters mean, and the tension constant. It’s evident that the Quiet Place universe is only going to continue to expand, tiptoeing farther into the world with bated breath, and keeping a lookout for the things that can hear your heartbeat. A Quiet Place Part II had my attention, now my appreciation for this series is loud and clear.
A QUIET PLACE PART II IS IN THEATERS THIS WEEKEND MAY 28TH
Written by: Leo Brady