“A Quiet Place II” is not so quiet


Paramount Pictures

“A Quiet Place II” differs in tone from the original according to RJ’s review.

For those of you who saw the cinematic masterpiece A Quiet Place which debuted in early 2018, you were overly excited when a sequel was announced. With well known actors starring in the first movie (namely Emily Blunt and John Krasinski) the first movie was no flop. From incredible sound design to relatable and intelligent characters the movie was captivating and kept its audience on edge. Apart from a few scenes in the movie, there is no dialogue and most of the interaction between characters is had through sign language (which was facilitated by actress Millicent Simmonds playing Regan Abbot who is actually deaf).

The first movie explored how an ordinary family had adapted to an impossible situation in which predatory alien-type creatures now roamed the earth. However the movie ranged far from that, showing how the family reacted to tragedy, living without modern technology, and even expanding the family. The second movie explores these topics while adding new relevant and interesting themes to a fantastic concept.

The opening of the movie takes us to the beginning of the crisis, or as the movie refers to it: Day 1. On Day 1 the family unites at their oldest son’s baseball game to enjoy a nice afternoon on the field. It is here where they introduce the new male lead of the movie, Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy playing Emmett. As the movie progresses, there are some novel scenes that portray a normal life for deaf character Regan Abbot with her experiencing the game soundless and teaching Emmett some new words in sign language. All of a sudden in the middle of the game a massive flaming object falls from the sky. Strangely calm and with a sense of urgency, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) is the first to rise from his seat and go to his truck. The couple splits up each taking children and that is where this movie truly begins.

Significantly louder than the first movie, this movie reintroduces Emmett’s post-apocalyptic character as a broken and somber man. Cillian Murphy is well known for playing Thomas Shelby in the hit Netflix series Peaky Blinders in which he portrays a cold mafia leader. However in this movie he plays a reluctantly compassionate hero initially struggling with his resolve to aid the cumbersome family. His character adds a healthy juxtaposition to the semi-maintained family while also providing a sense as to how relationships between friends and neighbors change after a dramatic shift in their way of life. Emmett, while not quite a fatherly figure, provides a cowardly heroic presence that evolves into a masterful character arc throughout the movie.

A massive theme in this movie is that of change in society. The first movie focused solely on the family with the only outside interaction being from a suicidal elderly man with his mauled wife. The sequel provides an in depth insight into how some people have evolved into apocalyptic philanthropists and others into marauding savages. Watching the twists and interactions with these groups is truly a joy as director John Krsinski sought to make a standout movie as opposed to a stereotypical horror sequel that mirrored the events of the first movie with different characters and slightly developed storylines. 

Unlike most horror movies which shadow a group of enhanced stereotypical teens, A Quiet Place Part II mostly explores the character development of the two preadolescent children Regan and Marcus (Noah Jupe). Defying societal and Hollywood stereotypes, Regan is more of a Gung ho defender type while Marcus, who is injured in the beginning of the movie, is more fearful and hermit-like. As the characters develop their personalities throughout the movie, Regan is shown to be a brave and resourceful hero who can hold her own in a number of situations; however, she also gets in over her head in some circumstances leaving Emmett to save her. An unlikely bond forms between the spiritless man and the daring young woman leaving them alone in the wilderness to complete the movie’s main objective which is to locate a radio tower.

Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt – who in reality is the actual wife of John Krasinski) doesn’t play a major role in this movie, and I think that’s a good thing. She is there in a supportive capacity to give her son guidance when needed, but isn’t overbearing to the main plot line. Her main purpose is to ensure that all of her children are looked after and cared for. She does have some incredible scenes in the movie in which she displays a strong motherly instinct, but they don’t shadow over the plot line dominated by the younger characters.

Marcus is quite honestly the most frustrating character in this film. It seems like Krasinski was trying to go with a traditional hero arc with Marcus (“from zero to hero”), but it’s just too much. His mistakes are easily preventable and his choices are physically painful. It would be understandable if his character went through a dramatic transformation but Marcus doesn’t do much improving. Even his “valiant” moment in the film is sad and uninspiring, but that may just be because of the depressing character. 

The one thing that I truly detest about this film is its ending. Obviously I won’t spoil it, but there isn’t much to spoil. It’s extremely unsatisfying and lies at a spot in which a movie should not end. A third movie has been confirmed, but it will follow a parallel story line without the existing characters. This makes the ending so much worse as you are left without the satisfaction of another scene.

A Quiet Place Part II