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A Quiet Place: Part II

WOW. This is the way to do a sequel.

John Krasinski returns to the writer/director chair and surpasses the original with the amazing A QUIET PLACE PART II.

The film opens on Day One, with a nearly perfect fifteen-minute sequence of small-town life as Lee Abbott (Krasinski) visits the local grocery store for some snacks on the way to his son’s baseball game. The store owner seems a bit distracted by the news of a huge catastrophe somewhere far away. Krasinski sets up the baseball game as an almost lyrical peek into a perfect, quiet life. We again meet his two deaf children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) and their interactions are hilarious and supportive. Lee’s wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) silently encourages Marcus, calming his nerves about the game. “Just Breathe” seems to be her mantra.

Neighbor Emmett (Cillian Murphy) brings Lee up to speed on the game as both their boys take turns at bat.

And then, something massive comes barreling down through the clouds, flaming like a giant asteroid down toward the Earth.

The baseball game immediately breaks up and within moments, the first of the creatures we know from the original arrive, tearing the fabric of the small town apart in a fantastic, suspenseful, action packed opening that leaves you stunned.

The story then flashes forward to after the events of the first film.

Lee is gone, most of civilization appears to be destroyed and Evelyn, her baby, Regan and Marcus leave their farm in search of food, people…..whatever is left.

They meet up with Emmitt, a shell of his former self and living alone deep within a factory.

The brilliance of the story is that it doesn’t take the audience for a fool.

It knows that we know the creatures hunt based on sound, but very poor eyesight.

The film knows that we are dreading a predictable post-apocalyptic story, so it turns our expectations on their heads.

I won’t ruin any of their quest by detailing it here. Krasinski does a masterful job of unveiling it scene by scene.

The acting is fantastic across the board. Simmonds and Jupe are probably the best young actors working today. There are scenes of incredible physical pain and anguish for Jupe and he delivers them so well, they cut any parent (or grandparent) to the core. Simmonds and Cillian Murphy have some of the film’s best moments as Regan and Emmitt’s trust evolves. Blunt is a kick-ass hero.

There are two major parts of the film where multiple seismic events are happening at the same time. Krasinski and his editor Michael P. Shawyer (Black Panther, Creed) cut between them so brilliantly that the suspense is doubled and tripled, leaving you on the edge of your seat. Then damned if they don’t do it to you again.

The ending twist leading to Emmitt yelling “Get Inside!!!” is so well executed that I never saw it coming. The structure of the entire film is taut, edge-of-your-seat suspense for its lean 90-minute running time.

The special effects work is very good and not overdone, while Marco Beltrami jolts you with a spooky and propulsive music score that gets under your skin. It’s the perfect complement to the moments of absolute silence that pepper the movie.

With all its surprises it feels like the best M. Night Shyamalan film he never made.

Krasinski continues to surprise as a director. His work here is even more sure handed than in the original.

A QUIET PLACE PART II is a rarity, a sequel to a great film that’s even better than the original.

Buckle up for one hell of a ride. This one gets an A+.

Keep telling yourself, “just breathe…..”

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