After a surprising blockbuster, star and director John Krasinski returns for “A Quiet Place 2,” a sequel attempting to match the silent theater experience of the original.
Opening with brief visit to Day One of the “invasion,” Lee (Krasinski) and his family are caught up in a struggle to survive. “A Quiet Place 2” then picks up where the first film ended: a dead monster, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) leading her family away from the burning farm with her deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmons) and son Marcus (Noah Jupe) with Evelyn’s newborn.
The family seek out survivors, who is revealed to be Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a character briefly introduced in the Day One sequence at the youth baseball game. Emmett is resistant to Regan’s plan to travel to a nearby island broadcasting a song to install her hearing device, transmit the frequency which impairs the aliens.
Staying silent to survive, the group separates with Emmett chasing down and ultimately partnering with Regan and Evelyn abandoning Marcus with the baby to retrieve more oxygen to keep the baby safe in the makeshift sealed bassinet. The creatures find Marcus and, spoiler avoided here, face countdown to death scenario as well.
All three plots get their fair share of action, intrigue, thrills and moments grow emotionally in the face of danger.
Krasinski introduces the bitterness of the world through Emmett, discussing how there are now “people who aren’t worth saving” and yet keeps the optimism high for an audience journeying through the terror with the three life-and-death scenarios.
When the human “threat” arises, it is quickly contrasted with normal life among the survivors on the island. Some humans have become animals, beasts so evil, an alien death may seem merciful. Other humans live day-to-day as though there is no threat to the planet.
The opening sequence is high adrenaline, re-introducing the lethal nature of the spider creatures, the challenge of silence and the quest for survival. This is followed with moments of introducing rampage and attacks in new ways, but still utilizes dead body and animal jump tactics to keep the uneasiness close.
While the original film is far superior, capitalizing on the uncertainty of rules and the constant threat of death still work at every turn.
Two main elements make “A Quiet Place II” work.
First, just as Steven Spielberg changed tactics with “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” having the aliens rampage the humans in new and thrilling way makes the audience want more, even clamor for a “Part III.”
More important, Krasinski sets up hero tales for all of the main characters. Twists and turns along their respective journey gives each character a challenge to overcome.
Sign language as communication in the first film is sadly replaced with “whispers” and “mouthing of words” and, just like most sequels, “Part II” can’t live up to the nuance and freshness of the original, but it adequately continues the story and indeed makes me want more.
A QUIET PLACE PART II earns 8 out of 10 STARS