“The Purge” is a great example of kids screwing things up in the middle of a tense situation. Another example is “28 Weeks Later.” The latest example is “A Quiet Place II.”
After a brief opening scene showing the first day of the alien attack, this sequel picks up immediately after the events of the original 2018 film. With their home in tatters, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her newborn baby, as well as her school-age children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), are forced to venture out for a new shelter.
Along the way they meet an old friend from their destroyed town, Emmett (Cillian Murphy), though he’s reluctant to help. With the knowledge that her hearing aid is useful against the aliens, though, Regan has a drive in her to find a way to spread the word.
In high stress situations, people sometimes make bad decisions. But jeez, there are a lot of them here, and it’s hard to ignore.
In some movies, it’s not as much of a problem. In more cheesy horror movies where it’s a group of dumb teens who’ve been drinking and make some stupid decisions when being chased by a slasher, it can be easier to forgive.
In a film such as this, though, where the genre appears to be elevated, having characters make such obvious mistakes feels out of place. This is especially true considering these characters have been surviving in this situation for well over a year.
In addition to these decisions causing frustration for a viewer, they also partly seem to be there just to create filler for a movie that doesn’t have much of a story. There’s a point where the characters split up, and one set of the protagonists don’t really have much to do.
In the second act, while some of the characters are off on a mission, which is the main driving force of the story, the son Marcus makes an absolutely boneheaded move that only serves to add some thrills with little in terms of character development. It’s as if director and writer John Krasinski didn’t know where to take these characters.
This issue somewhat leads into another: the character Emmett. All things considered, he’s a character who didn’t seem as needed.
A series of events sort of force him into being a co-main character with Regan. However, considering how the first movie ended, it feels like this role should have gone to Evelyn.
Instead, she’s sort of sidelined as Emmett takes more of the center stage. A simple change could have allowed the film to continue focusing on this family unit.
It’s not to say Murphy did poorly in the role. He gets the survivor persona down, but the character doesn’t fully fit.
The rest of the cast are good, too, even with some questionable choices related to their respective characters.
The main strength of “Quiet Place II,” though, is its technical aspects. Krasinski’s direction is solid while the technical crew does good work in bringing the aliens to life and nicely handling the sound work.
When it comes to entertainment value, the film delivers. There are in fact several scenes that are engaging and suspenseful.
Overall, this sequel might provide some thrills, but the flaws drag its score down. 2.5 out of 5