Title: A Quiet Place Part II
Director: John Krasinski
Writer: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, and John Krasinski
Plot: After figuring out how to kill the aliens in the first movie, the Abbott family looks to spread their knowledge to others.
Review: John Krasinski has openly said that he didn’t want to make A Quiet Place Part II. And, while I’m overall happy that this movie exists, I can kind of understand why at the same time. I just don’t think he had much story left to tell. If A Quiet Place is a perfectly made pilot that instantly wraps you up into the world of a new TV show, Part II is the followup episode where everything slows down. It’s the one where you realize that not every episode is going to be a home run. It’s aiming to just get on base. Their goal is to just move the plot forward. It’s not that you’re not enjoying yourself. It’s still super high quality. It’s just not the same dose of dopamine you got the first time around. But, this is also a movie, not a TV episode. And with movies sometimes “good enough” feels just a tad disappointing.
Before I make this sound too negative, I did enjoy A Quiet Place Part II. There’s quite a bit to like here. First of all, it’s just as well made as the first. Krasinski has not lost any skill behind the camera. He’s knows how to direct the hell out of a scary scene. The cinematography is excellent. The sound design still continues to steal the show with every single broken twig making you wince. The performances are all still top notch too, especially considering the limitations the cast is under. It’s a really expertly made piece of cinema. It’s crazy to think that Jim from The Office had this in him the whole time. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Actually, I was super duper on board for roughly the first half of this movie. The opening in particular I thought was really cool. It goes back to show us Day One of this whole situation. There’s a lot of confusion and pandemonium as the aliens arrive and immediately start fucking shit up. It’s tense. It’s scary. It’s action packed. And, there are a lot of cool, original setups as the town is basically demolished by these creatures. Not to mention that it’s really our first time seeing these aliens live up to their full destructive potential and it’s brutal.
Right as the second act begins, my interest started to wane a bit. Without getting into spoilers, our group ends up splitting up. And Krasinski decides that we need to split the time evenly between all of the groups. The problem? Only one of these stories is super interesting. The others can be summed up in a sentence or two. It’s super obvious which character Krasinski wanted to be the centerpiece of this movie, yet the focus felt all of the place. I understand that we’ve grown to care for each of these characters, but I think the story would seem more streamlined if you pushed a few of them to the side a bit. You could’ve really focused on the main story instead, beefed it up a bit, and made a really solid road/horror film. Instead, to me, it felt like a handful of rather minor underdeveloped adventures set in the world of the first movie. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it felt like a anthology movie but it was approaching that territory.
The other complaint I had is that the aliens don’t feel like as much of a threat now that we know they can be killed. In the first, I was constantly on the edge of my seat because it was just normal people versus these intense forces of nature. It was about survival, not necessarily fighting back. But, now, when they’re caught in those same scenarios, they can pretty much get out of it pretty easily. And we’re not quite to the action portion yet. This isn’t Aliens. It’s like a weird in-between chapter for Alien and Aliens. I know that it’s a natural progression. Everything makes sense story wise. I just missed that sense of tension. There were parts of the first movie where I was stressed the eff out. I never really felt that here. And I definitely missed it.
Overall, I did enjoy A Quiet Place Part II. I’m really glad we got to spend more time in that world. And, like I said, director John Krasinski is still at the top of his game. I just wish that writer John Krasinski had given us a beefier, more streamlined story. Because, while enjoyable, it never quite felt as essential as I wanted it to. The first movie is an iconic sci-fi/horror flick that’ll be revisited for decades. This just felt like a fun followup.
TL;DR: A Quiet Place Part II is an expertly directed, slightly unfocused but fun followup to the original movie.
Score: 7/10 (Good)