A Quiet Place Part II film review (2021)

A Quiet Place Part II is a worthy successor to the original in a number of ways. Although the first one did some things a bit better, the sequel is still full of highly intense moments, great performances from the characters, and an interesting story which I don’t think is over just yet.

A year later, I finally got the chance to see A Quiet Place Part II. I distinctly remember having tickets to see this and being very excited. Then, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a sad day not only because I missed this particular screening, but because I knew it was only the beginning of missing many other films to follow. Fortunately for a film buff like me, we’re a little over year into all of this madness, and little by little, it seems the world is gradually returning back to normalcy. A huge sign of this is movie theaters re-opening across the country, which allowed me to see this highly anticipated sequel. I was a huge fan of A Quiet Place because of its originality. It’s hard to believe it was John Krasinki’s directorial debut since it’s so well-done in a variety of facets. The way it ended, a sequel had to happen, and I’m glad it picks up right where it left off.

After the massive cliffhanger we were all left with in the first film, A Quiet Place Part II sees Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her three children, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe), and the baby, searching for a new place to take refuge and be safe from the blind alien creatures. Seeing how Regan has figured out how to make them vulnerable, she plans to use this to her advantage with some help from Emmett (Cillian Murphy). They soon realize the creatures aren’t the only beings who they need to be careful with.

One of the key details that stands out the most here is the use of silence. In the first film, in its full run-time, most of the movie is completely silent due to what it’s all about. Obviously, if you make enough noise, the creatures will be attracted to it and will wreck havoc on every living thing that gets in its way. There were some incredibly intense moments that did have sound though, but most of it was when the creatures were involved. The other moments were short stints of dialogue. But, for the most part, the movie is entirely silent, which adds to the overall theme. As for the sequel, a large majority of it is, indeed, silent, but there are many more moments here where the characters are talking a bit more and the creatures are more involved. The theme is still the same, but the silence isn’t showcased as much as the first. This doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t as relevant or important as it is in the first film, though. It’s still a very much a key factor to everyone’s survival.

The way the film uses it is great as well. The stakes are definitely raised here since, in some ways, I think the film does a better job at making every situation where the creatures are surrounding the humans a bit more intense and critical. There are more moments where they’re involved in the scenes and are trying to kill the humans due to noise being made. Again, the creatures are most definitely a huge threat in the first film, but they seem even more dangerous in its follow-up. Being silent is even more important in this installment and it’s evident once you see how much screen time these creatures really get.

As mentioned earlier, the creatures aren’t the only ones the main characters need to be careful with. In the world the humans are living in now, it’s more of a post-apocalyptic world, so the resources are scarce and in many ways, it’s every man for themselves. It isn’t surprising they’ll run into other groups of people who will try and take what they have and be another threat to look out for. Not every other person will be friendly and try to help you. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of survival and unfortunately, not everyone is as kind or willing to help.

The story flows pretty smoothly from the very beginning and I was pretty pleased with the decisions that were made. I think it’s faithful to what the first movie already established while also introducing some new ideas and a path to take in a future installment. I won’t say it’s as interesting or original as the plot in A Quiet Place, but in many ways, it’s simply continuing the story and I’m more than okay with that. I also enjoyed how different characters got more screen time and room to shine. Some characters, both old and new, feel extremely important to the overall story compared to others. However, although some of the other characters sort of take a backseat in a sense, they still have their moments, which is phenomenal character development and story progression.

For example, the two characters who are the most important are Regan and Emmett. Considering Regan finds a vulnerability, it makes sense she takes more of a starring role here. As for Emmett, he’s a newcomer, but also more of a lead in the film. Murphy has always been a fantastic actor and that’s on display in this film. At first, you aren’t sure what to make of his character since he seems a bit sketchy and untrustworthy. Then again, considering the circumstances and what he’s been through, you can’t really blame him either. You definitely take a liking to him though, especially as you see his character grow. Evelyn and Marcus are still very much important, but definitely in a more reduced capacity. It didn’t really bother me as much since, again, it gave way for other characters to shine, and they still had some critical moments.

I wish other characters had the same moments as well, but unfortunately, they didn’t. For one, I feel Djimon Hounsou’s character is completely wasted. He’s only in the movie for approximately 15 minutes and although he does serve a specific purpose, an actor of his caliber deserved a bit better, in my opinion. I think I can say the same about the group of humans they run into who aren’t as friendly. The creatures are the main threats, but it would’ve been nice to see this group of savages be a bit more developed and crucial to the overall plot. It’s a slightly wasted opportunity as well.

What excites me the most is how this sets up even more films. I’m pretty sure there will be at least one more movie and based on what Krasinski has done with the first two, I’m completely on board with whatever he has cooking up next. A Quiet Place Part II is a worthy successor in more ways than one. I don’t think it’s better than the first one since the first one literally introduces this fresh and original concept and does it a bit better. However, I do think it does some things a bit better than the first and makes the overall viewing a bit more intense. You’ll be on the edge of your seat for the majority of it.

Score: B+

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