Not only did the first movie have an incredible story and amazing imagery, the second followed close in its footsteps without suffering through a sophomore slump. Other than a slight drag of a brief three or four minutes in the middle of the film, I was riveted to the screen and balancing on the edge of my fancy, reclining theater seat.
The kids are a little older than they were in the first movie—though they aren’t supposed to be—but that is easily overlooked. This happens because the story is what drives the movie. So many movies with potential suffer because they rely on special effects rather than story to keep the people coming and throwing their money on the counter to purchase a ticket. Old school reference, but I’m an old school kind of guy.
The father sacrifices himself to save his family in the first movie. How are they going to survive? Will they be able to make it? Other than a short sequence showing the arrival of the monsters on earth, the movie starts the morning after the father saves his family. The earlier sequence lays the foundation in a proper foreshadowing moment things that will lead to an important event in the conclusion of the movie. Proper because you don’t even realize what it was until it comes full circle.
Since I don’t want to give away any spoilers, I’m just going to say that the movie was a worthy successor to the first one. I was thoroughly entertained. That’s why I go to the movies. Were there problems? Sure. I had some questions. But at no point did I allow them to prevent my enjoyment of the film.
John Krasinski does an excellent job at the helm. The movies is scary, but not horrific. Beautiful scenery. Perfect reveals. I never got into The Office, but I have enjoyed Krasinski in the Amazon Prime series Jack Ryan.
Emily Blunt portrays a loving and caring mother that will not allow any harm to come to her children. She drives the goal to survive by sheer will power. I loved her work in The Adjustment Bureau, Looper, and Sicario. But her work in this film and its predecessor are, in my opinion, her best work.
I have enjoyed Cillian Murphy’s work ever since 28 Days Later back in 2002—Sunshine is one of the best psychological science-fiction movies I have ever seen. His presence in this film is strong and purposeful. He is a man wrestling with the justification of the situation he finds himself in. He comes out admirably.
Both movies in the series are must-see films. I even read a rumor that there might be spin-offs showing what other people in different places the world over are going through in this apocalyptic invasion. Check it out.