Steve G 🇵🇸’s review published on Letterboxd:
I expected John Krasinski to take the Aliens approach with A Quiet Place Part II.
After we eventually saw the creatures in the original, I suspected Krasinski might throw a load of them at us, making his sequel more of a shoot-em-up. Turns out I was wrong, and happily so.
It seems, judging by the end of this sequel, that there will be plenty of time to see thousands of the sods gunned down. But for the purposes of this film, Krasinski decided to make this film about the kids, and what a smart and thoroughly enjoyable move it was as well.
It contributes greatly to making this a superior film to an original that had plenty of promise and was largely enjoyable without delivering quite as much as it should have done. The positioning of Noah Jupe and especially the wonderful Millicent Simmonds as the saving graces here, pushing their elders into moving on, albeit hugely against the odds, rather than standing still was a terrific idea very well executed.
A lot has rightly been said about Simmonds and the utilisation of an actual deaf actor to play the role of a deaf character, but I think there's actually a huge amount of importance in Jupe's character. If you think about it, it is extremely rare to see a pair of male and female siblings positioned in such a way that the sister is the calming and action-keen half. Jupe's anxieties are so rare in such a context and I hope his character gets recognition for the journey that he takes too.
Simmonds goes on a different journey, one that develops her as the vessel to push this story forward that is not merely about her being deaf. She is the one that guides an excellent Cillian Murphy on their journey, right up to the superb double-pronged ending. It's so important that representation is not just about the representation - it's also go to be about progress.
I love that ending, too. I haven't read anything about this film as yet but I suspect many will have an issue with how abrupt it was. As much as it's a clear set-up for Part III, it reminded me of how films used to end, something that I'm getting a regular reminder of watching lots of old noirs during my current crime project. The story is told, and that's it, let's go home. It makes for a great impact, and it's this lack of fussing and faffing that keeps this to that blissful 90 minute mark. Ahh.
In fact, the top and tail of A Quiet Place Part II are pretty special in completely different ways while once again refusing to pontificate on what these creatures and where they come from. Does it matter? Only if Krasinski can come up with an interesting story about it. Otherwise he's better off continuing the almost TV episode approach to his series and just keep the current story in motion.
Oh, and he might not have gone full Aliens with this, but the bit with the boat trip was totally ripped off from the ending of Aliens, come on.