A QUIET PLACE PART II (2021)
Starring Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, Scoot McNairy, Alice Sophie Malyukova, Dean Woodward, Okieriete Onaodowan, Zachary Golinger, Lauren Ashley Cristiano, Wayne Duvall, Barbara Singer, Blake DeLong, Gary Sundown, Stefanie Warnick, Alycia Ripley, Cristalis Bonilla, Domonic Taggart and John Krasinski.
Screenplay by John Krasinski.
Directed by John Krasinski.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 97 minutes. Rated PG-13.
Truth is, I’ve grown pretty tired of end of the world dramas. You know, the ones where a few of mankind’s survivors must try to stay alive despite massive hardships, usually brought on by viruses or alien attacks – as well as fighting off the other desperate people who are doing turned feral trying to save their own lives.
This is why A Quiet Place was such a welcome surprise when it was released in 2018. It took the somewhat overdone trope of the genre and gave it a smart, thoughtful overhaul, adding a little heart and compassion and some wild storytelling chops to an often-nihilistic art form. It was by far the best film of its type – and there have been tons of them – that I had seen in quite some time.
However, I also felt that A Quiet Place told its story fully and satisfyingly, so I was a little worried when it was announced that they were working on A Quiet Place Part II. They really had told the story they needed to tell. What else was there to say?
A Quiet Place Part II was supposed to come out last year, but things got delayed due to the COVID pandemic. (In fact, it was the first movie press screening I was due to see which was cancelled due to the disease last February or March.) The movie sat on the shelf (as did so many others) for over a year before getting a theatrical release in May.
Now, as it is getting released on video, I have finally caught up with the story, and it turns out there was more to say in this tale. A Quiet Place Part II is not quite as good as the first one, but it comes relatively close.
A Quiet Place Part II starts out with a brief prologue which returns to the day of the alien invasion. While this flashback is occasionally a little sloppy and relies on happenstance – John Krasinski’s dad seems to figure out awfully fast that the monsters can’t see and you must be extremely quiet, with little or no evidence to point in that direction – it is still interesting to see how it all started.
Then we flash forward over a year. Dad is gone. Mom (Emily Blunt) and the kids (Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and a baby) are still trying to survive in silence in a world where if they talk too loudly or make and sounds, they will be quickly surrounded by the fearsome creatures which have pretty much decimated the Earth.
As explained in the original film, the creatures are blind and hunt by sound. There are relatively few victims left for them, so they comb the area regularly, looking for stragglers, looking for food. However, Evelyn and her children have one thing going for them, as shown in the first film, the creatures can’t stand the feedback from hearing impaired daughter Regan’s hearing aid when it is amplified.
When their homestead is destroyed, mom and the family must hit the road and try to find safety elsewhere. On the road they run into Emmett (Cillian Murphy), an old friend from the pre-apocalyptic days (he is introduced in the flashback scene at the beginning of the film). Emmett has lost his entire family and has created a bunker fortress to keep the creatures at bay. However, even though they were once friends, he is not sure he wants to deal with or care for Evelyn and her children.
When the boy Marcus is injured, he does let them move in – temporarily, he insists – while the child heals. In the meantime, daughter Regan becomes fascinated by the fact that their radio, which she uses to scare off the monsters, keeps playing the old Bobby Darin song “Beyond the Sea” on an endless loop. She becomes determined that it must be a hint from some other survivors, and she decides to go find them.
Unlike the first A Quiet Place film, though, this one telegraphs the likelihood – perhaps even the necessity – for another sequel to come. Even though A Quiet Place Part II ends on not one but two epiphanies in which the children must prove themselves, the story ends with things in a very precarious place and some of the main characters separated from some of the others.
Which may or may not be a good thing. For as well as the A Quiet Place saga has gone so far, if they keep dipping into the same well, eventually the magic may wear off. However, for now, both A Quiet Place films are terrific examples of their genre.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2021 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 27, 2021.