It’s a known fact that sequel movies are rarely as good as the first. Oftentimes this is because the sequel movie had nowhere to go after the original movie’s story ended. When a movie finishes up all neat and tidy at the end it makes it that much harder for writers to come up with a compelling follow-up storyline. Once the prince kisses the princess and they live happily ever after, there isn’t much to go on for a sequel.
Well, while the ending to A Quiet Place did end on a somewhat hopeful note, (four out of the five characters survived), it wasn’t exactly a happy ever after. The Abbott family defeated the monsters (at the moment) but their home was now unlivable and were forced to head on down the road. Needless to say, many of us asked the question when the credits rolled up the screen in front us: “Now what?”
The cleverly titled sequel, A Quiet Place Part II actually begins before the world was attacked from horrible creatures from space and it begins much like the original film. Lee Abbott (John Krasinski who also directs) is late to his son’s baseball game and he makes a stop at a local grocery store to pick up some oranges for the team. The shop is quiet and almost empty as an old woman is paying for her groceries at the counter and the shop’s owner is mesmerized looking at a TV. Apparently a bomb went off – or something – somewhere around the world. It’s a terrible sight but easily forgotten as Lee really needs to get to that game.
It is at that game that we are introduced to Emmett (Cillian Murphy) one of the other parents and friend to the Abbott family. He seems nice enough and he even asks Emmett’s deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) about some American Sign Language gestures. Soon though, the game is interrupted when there is something falling from the sky why in the distance. And just like that, the game is over and families are packing up their kids and heading home. (It’s not clear to me what would make these people leave so abruptly other than the situation did not look good, but I suspect that if that happened in real life, people would stand around talking about what they saw before going to their cars.) And before you know it, all hell breaks loose providing some impressive action sequences and giving Krasinkski a few more minutes of screen time before the story abruptly stops and we are thrust over a year later and right back where the first film ended.
Now a single mother, Evelyn leads carries the newborn and leads Regan and Marcus (Noah Jupe) to … where? Where is this family going to go? Let’s just say that something bad happens causing them to land at Emmett’s makeshift home under a factory building of some kind begging him to help them and allow them to stay with him and his family. As it turns out, Emmett has no family now and doesn’t want to protect another one. He allows them in only until the immediate danger is over. Yeah, right.
But here is where it gets really interesting. We get to see Krasinkski’s choices as a director with stylized shots and unique storytelling. While the Abbott kids are convinced that there are other people “out there” Emmett is equally convinced that there is not because unlike the family, he’s seen what people have become in this new world.
Because of one or two events, the family gets separated and the story sort of splits into three sections showing the point of views of Regan, Marcus and Evelyn. Each having their own fears and obstacles to overcome. They are all different, but visually they are similar and how Krasinkski brings these scenes together is pretty clever.
Just because we are revisiting familiar territory in A Quiet Place II, don’t think that you’ve seen everything this story can provide. It is just as nerve-wracking as the first one. Overall, it is equally as good as the first. The whole cast are amazing and while Regan’s character stood out in the first chapter, Jupe really shines this time around as his character struggles with overwhelming pain and fear. You really want to give this kid a hug.
Part II might, dare I say, might even be a hair better than the first film? Because of some of the drama that happens earlier in the story, there is room for some redemption for these characters by the end. As for the ending itself, it almost wraps up pretty cleanly and leaves some room for hope. But don’t be surprised when the credits roll up the screen that you ask the question, “Now what?”
Main Image: Emily Blunt and Noah Jupe (Paramount Pictures)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.