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‘Flabby’ or ‘riveting’? John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II divides critics

Emily Blunt is once again directed by her real-life husband Krasinski in eagerly anticipated sequel

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 19 May 2021 11:02
A Quiet Place Part II - Trailer

The first reviews for A Quiet Place Part II are in, with critics divided over the eagerly anticipated horror sequel.

The follow-up to the 2018 hit sees Emily Blunt once again directed by her real-life husband John Krasinski.

Set in a post-apocalyptic USA, the films revolve around the Abbott family, who are on the run from aliens who are sensitive to noise, meaning all humans must communicate via sign language to avoid detection.

In a four-star review of the new movie, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw wrote that the sequel is a “really effective and engrossing follow-up, with an absolutely sensational ‘prelude’ sequence at the top of the movie”. He added that it is “something to scream about”.

The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde was also positive, saying: “Krasinski has grown in confidence and skill, creating a sequel that’s at least as riveting if not more so than its predecessor.”

Vinnie Mancuso, a critic at Collider, said: “The sequel both expands the world and digs deeper into the personal heart at its centre. Doubters, like me, are quieted.”

Not all critics were impressed, though, with Kevin Maher writing in his two-star review for The Times: “Is it as good as the first one? Was it worth the wait? And does it warrant a celebratory trip to the newly reopened multiplex to watch it in all its widescreen glory? The answers, alas, are no, no and not really.”

He added: “Everything that was original, structurally tense and emotionally affecting about that first box-office smash has become repetitive, dramatically flabby and emotionally empty in this cruelly limited follow-up.”

A Quiet Place II

Den of Geek’s Don Kaye added: “A Quiet Place Part II, which on the surface is a tense and often effective ride, gets dragged down like its predecessor by the thinness of its story and its world-building. That and the actions of the characters, who once again do everything possible to put themselves in danger.”

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Empire critic Ian Freer was torn, and he wrote in his three-star review: “Unlike last time and even at a tight 97 minutes, there are longueurs, and Krasinski fumbles moments of cross-cutting three lines of action, dissipating rather than generating tension. Also, some of the screenplay’s conceptions of how society has disintegrated don’t really track.”

He continued: “Still, there are powerful moments (Regan trying to tell Emmett how to enunciate), callbacks to the first film that feel earned (a visit to the grave of lost son Beau) and the skirmishes with the creatures which are always fun... Krasinski’s filmmaking mostly has a slick, well-tooled confidence that should land him a superhero gig soon, but it might be wise to let the Abbotts off the hook for now.”

Variety’s Peter Debruge noted the movie’s “gaping plot holes”, writing: “The new film wagers if you’re on board for the ride, logic shouldn’t matter. But it does make a difference, and anyone bothered by the way Krasinski has already ignored such glaring inconsistencies as the monsters’ ability to hear small noises from far away, but not breathing or heartbeats mere inches from their ears, will drive themselves crazy this time around.”

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