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Synopsis:

Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

What We Thought:

Did you like A Quiet Place? If you answered yes, then you’ll like A Quiet Place Part II. I was one of the few people who didn’t go bonkers for the first film. I thought it had a ton of issues and plot holes a mile wide. I didn’t think it was as clever as people thought especially the more you analyzed it and broke it down. I was on the fence about seeing the sequel, but had heard some good things about it. Plus it was the first press screening in over 14 months and if I was going to see the sequel, it should be at the theater with a crowd.

That is its biggest positive, it’s the perfect movie to see with a crowd right now. I won’t get into why most of us haven’t been to the movies in over a year, we all know why, but if you’ve been wanting to go back to the theater to experience a movie, A Quiet Place Part II is the right choice. I may not have loved the film, but I’m glad I experienced it properly and not alone at home on a laptop.

The film opens with a flashback showing the first day of the alien attacks. It sets the viewer in an idyllic, small town with a little league game going on. John Krasinski’s character is running late and already missed a couple of innings. We are introduced to Cillian Murphy’s character and his family. Then the sky explodes, panic sets in and the town erupts into chaos showing what happened on day one of the alien takeover. Then it jumps into the current timeline, just a few days or so after the events of the first film.

That flashback cold opening was fantastic. It was tense, full of action and gets you ready for more. Unfortunately once it jumps back into current day it slows down. It loses the momentum it started with and shows Emily Blunt’s character with her deaf daughter (Millicent Simmonds), son (Noah Jupe) and her baby. The pacing slows down as they leave their home and head out into the unknown shoeless.

They run into an alien and get helped by Cillian Murphy. He’s alone and been living that way for months. He lets them stay, but wants them gone shortly. The daughter Regan (Simmonds) has her own ideas and knowing she can help stop the aliens with her cochlear implant hearing aid, she sets out to find an island she thinks has survivors because of a song played on the radio. Of course Murphy’s character is forced by Blunt’s character to find her and help her. The film splits into two stories at this point, Regan and Murphy’s Emmett dealing with aliens, not so great survivors and nice survivors and Blunt’s Evelyn trying to get medical supplies for her son and oxygen tanks for the baby.

This time around Millicent Simmonds is the star of the film. She had a big role in the first film, but with Krasinski gone, she takes over the one trying to help others. The focus is really on her character, how she can help take down the aliens and her belief in helping others. Murphy wants to be left alone and survive on his own, but is pretty much guilted into finding her and getting to the island. Blunt takes on the B-story and at times you almost forget about her and the two other children.

There are things I like about the film. The use of sound or lack of sound in some scenes is its strongest element. Seeing it with a crowd, the crowd reacted or kept quiet at the appropriate times. It has a great feel to it even if it’s slow at times. The acting is good. Blunt and Murphy are two of my favorite actors going and Simmonds hangs with her older castmates with ease. We get more development of the aliens in the sequel as well. They are great aliens even if they look like demogorgons from Stranger Things. We already know how you fight them and their weaknesses, but the film does add another. We get more of their action and abilities early on and in a great water scene.

Unfortunately like its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II just isn’t as good as others will make it out to be. It’s fine, I didn’t hate it or anything, but it’s the type of movie I call “Smart for Dumb People”. Dumb people will think it’s much more clever and smart than it really is and it still has many of the same issues the first film did. All that being said, I’m still going to tell you to see it. Why? Because we need to get back to the movie theater. It was my second film I’ve seen at the theater this year (Godzilla vs. Kong I saw where it belongs, on an IMAX screen) and this also needs to be seen and experienced outside your home. The sound editing alone is worth the price of admission as is the shared experience and crowd reaction you just won’t get at home. It’ll be the first real big hit at the box office in the past 14 months and along with F9 shortly, will be the savior of the box office.

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