A Quiet Place Part II was well worth the wait. Another high-anxiety, pulse-pounding thriller. Emily Blunt was stellar, while Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe got to showcase their acting chops. Plus, Cillian Murphy’s raw performance stole every scene. Movie theaters are back!
Actor-director John Krasinski's Part II is another terrifying expansion of a soon-to-be sprawling franchise. Back in 2018, Krasinski presented to the world A Quiet Place — proving that he should be taken seriously as a director and not just as an actor. Krasinski also led as the lead role along with his wife-actress Emily Blunt. Actors Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe were cast as their children for the film. The plot revolved around a father (Krasinski) and a mother (Blunt), who were living on a farm and struggling to survive while raising their children (Simmonds and Jupe) in a post-apocalyptic world. This new, scary world was now inhabited by blind monsters, with an acute sense of hearing. Make a sound, and you could be killed. The film ends with Lee (Krasinski) sacrificing himself to save his children and Evelyn (Blunt) discovering that sound frequency amplified with feedback hurts the monsters — exposing their armored heads with flesh. Shooting the distressed monsters now exposed will kill them instantly and scene.
This is where Part I left off and where Part II immediately begins. We are introduced to a flashback sequence for the film's opening. Over a year before the first film's events, the Abbott family attends Marcus' (Jupe) baseball game. We even get a fun return of Lee (Krasinski) in the flashback sequence. Mid-game, bewildered viewers look skyward as a flaming object hurtles towards the Earth — confirming these monsters are extra-terrestrial. As people exit the park and attempt to drive away, the town is beset and attacked by the alien creatures. The opening sequence will have you on the edge-of-your-seat, as someone in my theater literally exhaled a sigh of relief after this opening scene ended. Part II follows Evelyn and her children, who now embark on a dangerous journey outside their farm to find other survivors. Simmonds plays Regan, who is deaf in the movie, and real-life — Simmonds' acting chops in Part II deepens and evolves. Simmonds described her character's evolution after the first film, "she has a lot of pressure to become an adult very quickly."
Part II allowed her to take on a more leading role, and she knocked it out of the park, along with actor Jupe, who also had a more leading role. And according to Syfy Wire, deafness and American Sign Language (ASL) "are inherently linked to the heroism of its heroine." Simmonds worked with an ASL coach to make sure her signing and articulation were both clean for the sequel. She said she felt "a sense of pressure" being in a leading position to represent the deaf and hard of hearing. Yet, Krasinski's tightly constructed direction allowed Regan's character development to fully grow on the screen. Regan, Marcus, Evelyn, and Evelyn's newborn baby are on the run, searching for survivors. They run into an old friend of Lee's, Emmett played by an astounding Cillian Murphy. Like in every supporting role (Dunkirk, Inception, and Red Eye), Murphy steals every scene with his raw, transformative acting chops. Murphy continues to prove that he needs to be cast for bigger, leading roles. He has proven how powerful of an actor he is with films and shows like 28 Days Later, Sunshine, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and Peaky Blinders.
Emmett tells Evelyn that "the people that are left, they're not the kind of people worth saving." Just as Part I did, Part II builds the story on tension with a tightly constructed score that will seep into your bones. Part II also unveils more action this time around but does not lose sight of its heart. The one flaw would be that the story does not go as far as some would like it to because it's setting up for a Part III. Nevertheless, I welcomed this type of storytelling because it centered more around the characters and their development from the previous installment. Part II is also the first movie to cross $100 million domestically in our COVID-19 era. The film also set several box office records, including the biggest opening weekend ($57 million) of the COVID-19 pandemic. Movie theaters are back, and I highly recommend seeing this nerve-racking sequel on the big screen, where it's intended to be. You won't be disappointed.
A Quiet Place Part II is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned) Terror, Bloody/Disturbing Images, & Violence.
Directed by John Krasinski
Starring Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, and John Krasinski.
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