"Krasinski has delivered a solid post-apocalyptic experience splashed with some horror elements, which makes a perfectly enjoyable film"
A Quiet Place wowed everyone with its refreshing premise and impeccable sound design. I'll never forget the guy in the row in front of me trying to unwrap his snickers bar, only to stop immediately as the sound filled the whole auditorium. By the end of the film the snickers was still inside its wrapper. The original was tense, had everyone glued to their seats and as quiet as I'd ever heard an audience, only making sounds when the film demanded audible reactions. It was one of the best film experiences I've ever had in the cinema.
The first Quiet Place gave us an intimate portrayal of a family living amongst monsters roaming our planet. We saw the how, but never the why. Part 2 tries to answer questions from the original, amps up the carnage and action, and turns the story to quest mode as our heroes venture out, trying to defeat the monstrous foes.
In an exciting opener, Krasinski shows us Day 1, the arrival, the day the world changed. And with this opening he perfectly sets the tone for the sequel. Gone is the suspense, which made the original such a blast. Now we get to see the monsters out in the open, in bright day light, in all their horrific glory. The scene has been set, in case you hadn't seen the first one I guess, you're caught up of sorts and smashcut! to the end of the first film, with the remaining Abbotts in the basement.
The now Dad-less Abbott family flees their destroyed farm, looking for a new safe haven. Mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt), who's literally just given birth to their 4th child about an hour ago, is dragging the remainder of her family through unknown territory. The moment the paths of sand end, the hesitation to go on, the unsure first barefoot step. The change in sound. Breathtaking.
They come across Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who has just been introduced in the opening of the film as a family friend, an utter juxtaposition to Krasinski's Lee, not at all interested in helping anyone. Thanks to some mishaps along the way, which results in a badly maimed Marcus (Noah Jupe) and presenting a newborn baby, Emmett is swayed and discovers the last remnants of his humanity and gives them shelter.
This is where Krasinski decides to split up the group; daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) wants to take the fight to the monsters now that they've discovered what her hearing aid can do. Mother Evelyn wants everyone to stay safe and Emmett wants his bachelor pad back. In the end Regan and Emmett do the quest storyline, looking for a radio station that points to potential survivors and a means to end the monsters once and for all. Meanwhile Evelyn is going on a much needed supply run while Marcus is told to stay put and recover, but for plot reasons obviously does anything but.
With A Quiet Place Part 2 I expected to see the second chapter in the Abbott family chronicles, where we see everyone in the family rise to the occasion and take the next step to defeat these monsters and take back our planet. Instead we get a new addition in the form of Emmett, which allows Evelyn and Marcus to be completely sidelined. Krasinski choosing to split the action two and even three ways later on makes this even more detrimental to the focus and tension of the film. Neither of the storylines have the necessary depth to really pack a punch, as the world building feels superficial, the quest story rushed.
I love that Regan evolves into our hero saving the world from monsters, but why did we need to introduce another male character helping her along the way when we have a perfectly capable woman who could have filled this role? Aside from Regan and Emmett every other character is given squat. Why her own husband would go as far as relegating Emily Blunt in the sequel is beyond me. And dumbing down Noah Jupe's Marcus instead of giving him space to grow akin to his sister is completely unnecessary. Jupe has the thankless task of playing the idiot to create tension. Krasinski also missed his chance to address major plot holes, especially why these monsters don't eat anything they kill, with their enormous sharp teeth, they don't hunt for food so why do they hunt and kill? He keeps ignoring major inconsistencies like the monsters’ ability to hear the tiniest noise from far away, but not noticing people's breathing right next to their ears.
The mainly by-the-numbers post-apocalyptic thriller narrative is a tad disappointing after the immersive suspense experience that was the original. Nevertheless A Quiet Place Part 2 is an entertaining film, even a decent sequel to its remarkable predecessor, with impressive cinematography and effects. Yet the intense sound design, which helped build this world in all its horrific glory, seems to have fallen by the wayside. This time around Krasinski focusses on action and carnage wrapped in an overly familiar plot we’ve seen countless times before.
Overall Krasinski has delivered a solid post-apocalyptic experience splashed with some horror elements, which makes a perfectly enjoyable film but feels like a step down from his first outing. A Quiet Place Part 2 is a decent successor to 2018's surprise smash hit, but doesn't quite reach the original's calibre.