Emily Blunt in a scene from “A Quiet Place II.” | Youtube screenshot
“A Quiet Place” was a simple story about how far human beings are willing to push themselves to protect the ones they love couched in the trapping of a sci-fi monster movie. While that theme has carried over into “A Quiet Place Part II,” the new chapter dives even more deeply into how humans respond to losing the most important people and things in their lives. Though it’s not the mystery story/thrill ride the first film was, “A Quiet Place Part II” is full of satisfying story and character work.
“Part II” picks up not long after the events of the first film, with Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) and her children, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), leaving their farm on a quest for a new home. They run across Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a family friend who is surviving on his own in the wake of the deaths of his family.
Regan decides to strike out on her own after hearing a signal on the radio and is soon joined by Emmett. Meanwhile, Evelyn and Marcus have their own issues to worry about. Both parties are constantly confronted by dangers and it turns out the monsters come in multiple forms.
The main thing that stood out to me is the way “Part II” addresses the issue of loss and the different ways people deal with it. For example, Evelyn deals with the loss of her husband by doubling down on her efforts to protect her children and create a brighter future for them.
Conversely, Emmett is so crushed by the losses he’s suffered that he gives up hope. It’s not until his journey with Regan that he finds hope again and chooses to fight. We all see what could happen when one loses everything and completely gives in to hopelessness. It’s not pretty.
This film is filled with many quiet contemplative moments where we can think about things right alongside the characters but that doesn’t mean “Part II” skimps on the chills and suspense. The movie opens with a cool scene depicting the day the monsters first showed up. There are plentiful tense scenes where characters try to overcome obstacles and evade monsters and certain death.
But the focus is more on the characters, how their relationships affect their behavior and how they fight to give themselves a brighter future. That makes it a different experience than the first film, but I actually think I prefer this movie because I wasn’t expecting it to go in the direction it did. Sure the plot isn’t the most original, but the work from the actors and the commentary on dealing with loss made up for the lack of rollercoaster ride thrills. If you want a movie with relevant themes that doesn’t beat you over the head with its message, this could be what you’re looking for.