A Quiet Place: Part II further supports my stance that children ruin everything.
REPPED: John Krasinski makes for a promising genre director because of his ability to create and hold tension for the right amount of time until it reaches its breaking point; for this reason, Krasinski seems like the obvious successor to Steven Spielberg. For further proof, look no further than the opening prologue for Part II which makes great use of tension by showing the events of the first day of the invasion while also serving as a reintroduction to the world set up in the first film. What’s so effective about that prologue is that we already know how it’s going to play out, but Krasinski and friends assume it’s going to be a normal day at the ballpark. It feels reminiscent to Spielberg’s War of the Worlds where an ordinary day slowly starts to become anything but normal. I like that Krasinski still manages to capture what made the first film so enjoyable while also allowing the world and characters to expand in a way that feels honest and organic to what was set up during the first. We still have Emily Blunt dazzling up the screen, but she’s now more of a side character while Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe are put front and center. Both characters go their separate ways for the sequel and while both have their own separate stories, their narratives ultimately culminate in a final act that drives home the main theme of the film. That final shot is such a powerful ending and makes for a solid crowd pleaser.
NEGGED: It’s not as emotionally gripping as the first film. The characters are still well-written and the performances are still as strong as my right arm, but the first film still feels like it had the stronger premise. Movies like Andy Muschietti’s It do this trope particularly well; if you want good drama, just kill a child during the opening sequence. Part I is about a family dealing with the loss of a child and for all the fun that Part II has, I think it lacks a bit of that drama that was present in the first film. Cillian Murphy’s character had potential to be the one with the most effective story arcs in the film but his backstory happens offscreen. It’s a small grievance but it deserved to be addressed.
FINAL VERDICT: It’s a coming-of-age tale about moving on and carrying on the legacy of your predecessors. A Quiet Place: Part II effectively expands the world that was created in Part I, but the main characters still manage to stay grounded and relatable despite the expansion. Krasinski still has a strong grasp on tension and while the novelty of the first film has worn off, John Krasinski still manages to craft a sequel that’s just as enjoyable as the first even if it wasn’t as dramatically resonant as the first film.