The pandemic is delayed in the exciting opening sequence A quiet place part II, Jon Krasinski, Emily Blunt and their family join the rest of town to watch a friendly Little League game that sees something fall from the sky at sporting events and unleash hordes of sniffing monsters on the quaint community.
In those first few moments, director Krasinski reminds us of what made the first film so successful – excellent staging, skillful use of sound (and silence), and the constant danger that things can go sideways at any moment. It’s an excellent opening that you wish would never end.
Of course, this is not the prequel A less quiet placeand so Krasinski crouches behind the camera and lets his wife take the lead off-screen to force her from the fire-ravaged farm into the wilderness. Or your stereotypical abandoned industrial warehouse.
A quiet place part II Successfully expands the incredibly closed world of its predecessor while staying true to the elements that made it so effective. While Krasinski isn’t necessarily breaking new ground here, he breathes enough new oxygen into the concept to keep it going. The characters feel a bit more stagnant here, the loss of Krasinski as the central character weighs heavily on the story. Blunt is still good but feels subdued. The decision to flee her and the family for help (and to another man) is a bit strange when the first film left her as a tough matriarch. The addition of Cillian Murphy is inspired, but the film doesn’t make full use of its capabilities.
More inspiring is that Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds gets even more to it, although I wish she had been given the sole lead role. Krasinski seems intrigued when he lets his deaf character venture into the world, but is unwilling to commit to the compelling, albeit potentially challenging, opportunity of A really quiet place. Instead, he chooses to spread the focus and separate his characters, resulting in a fun, if slightly different, experience.
Even if the story doesn’t reach its full potential (and the abrupt ending is loud), A quiet place part II still delivers the thrill. Krasinski puts together several well-staged sequences to get you to the edge of your seat, and that’s more than enough to make this exhilarating sequel worth checking out.
Rating by Erik Samdahl, unless otherwise stated.