*. I began my notes on A Quiet Place by saying I enjoyed it, but that I didn’t think it was very original or well written. It also didn’t call for a sequel, which is something the director-star John Krasinski was comfortable with. But it did good box office so a sequel was soon in the works.
*. Krasinski didn’t want to be involved. Neither did his wife and co-star Emily Blunt. But money talks. So he came back and even wrote the screenplay for this one too.
*. I think it’s obvious from the screenplay that he had absolutely no new ideas. So we basically have the same idea as the first movie, only Krasinksi’s character (who died at the end of A Quiet Place) has been replaced by a buddy named Emmett (Cillian Murphy). Otherwise, Mama Abbott (Blunt) shepherds her three kids through the usual post-apocalyptic wasteland, trying to avoid the monsters. They get into various jams and then get out of them.
*. Starring Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. At least that’s what it says on the poster. Doesn’t mention any other names. This despite the fact that Krasinski’s character, who died at the end of the first movie, only has an appearance shoehorned in by way of a pre-title sequence taking us back to the aliens arriving, and Emily Blunt is very much placed in a secondary role. Krasinski clearly stated that Millicent Simmonds (who plays the deaf daughter Regan) was the lead, but let’s face it, she wasn’t putting any bums in seats. Hence, starring the two Hollywood stars.
*. Simmonds is great, but she’s all this movie has going for it. This really is just a retread of the first movie — which was itself planned to be part of the Cloverfield universe — right down to using the same strategies to kill the monsters. Krasinski also seems stuck on the idea that cutting back and forth between two (or even three) parallel suspense sequences makes them that much scarier. It really doesn’t. It just drags things out.
*. There are also more niggling questions, some of them the same ones that bothered me in the first film. How did such admittedly ferocious but basically primitive creatures that are so vulnerable to annoying noises and small arms fire wipe humanity out so quickly? Why do the islanders broadcast using code? And why do all the main characters act like such idiots? How have they survived this long being so stupid?
*. Even if there hadn’t been a first movie this would still play flat. The presence of Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) and ruthless gangs with haircuts and beards from The Road only underlines how many times we’ve been down this particular road before. Our culture seems in love with the end of the world as we know it, the breakdown of civilization and a return to a savage state. I’m sure that tells us something about where we’re at as a society. A not very nice place.
*. In any event, it premiered on the eve of the pandemic but then waited over a year for its theatrical release (which is why I’m dating it as a 2021 movie). When it did come out it did great box office, all things considered, and since there’s no ending to speak of here (as there was no real plot), I imagine there could be more of these to come. Two is more than enough for me though. I’m checking out.