It is an understatement to say that John Krasinski’s first foray into the fantastic caused quite a stir. The critics, happy to confuse themselves with dubious puns, greeted him warmly. The public, word of mouth flattering obliges, has rushed to the multiplex, to the point of making it one of the greatest recent successes of the genre. After months of waiting, his suite No Sound 2 has finally arrived in theaters. Will Emily Blunt’s return and Cillian Murphy’s arrival guarantee her equal popularity?
Admittedly, the credibility of the concept on which Sans un noise is based (a world destroyed by creatures that attack not everything that moves, but everything that makes noise) is due to its extreme spatial and narrative brevity. Thanks to a family point of view and almost behind closed doors, Krasinski unfolds a microcosm. Obviously, what happened next required an expansion of the universe. And as a result, the principle is cracked on all sides.
Some of the inconsistencies, which many choose to hide under the rug, are found to multiply when we discover the outside. The suspension of disbelief takes a major hit when the scenario continues to contradict its own modalities, excluding this or that type of sound from the antagonist’s perception (why don’t certain nature sounds reach them and others do?), or when he unknowingly makes his McGuffin, which can easily easily guessed by connoisseurs of the first work, a source of endless questions (how can the world sink without thinking about it?).
Cleverly, this film attempts to pass the pill by considering the monster’s mostly acquired and undeniable abilities. In fact, there is no change to the concept. It is content to change it even more without changing the threat or general situation. Sans un noise 2 because it’s not going to blow the shackles of his universe, he’ll logically settle for telling the adventures of Evelyn (Emily Blunt, always convincing) and her children (Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, also whatever) from the family cocoon.
An eventual expedition is wise enough because the supposed savagery to characterize the outside world, a mandatory theme of every ambitious post-apo since Mad Max, The Road and its adaptations, turns out to be relatively little present. It was only called upon to relaunch the plot at the start of the third act. Despite its promises, this sequel remains a bit shy, but has the common sense to avoid the speech one would expect from the “real monsters are humans” types, who would have a hard time fitting in with their aesthetic and sense of staging, again very often at gatherings.
At first glance, Sans un noise 2 therefore seems to be playing the safety card and trying above all to reproduce an older quality, admittedly fully dedicated to the concept, but also completely focused on the characters. Nevertheless, it is precisely when he tries to follow in his footsteps that he gets lost, hindered by (attention, spoiler Sans un noise first name) the absence of the father character, encamped by the director himself. The void he desperately tried to fill.
Indeed, it’s hard not to see Cillian Murphy as a surrogate father figure, a role we see him take on when his bushy beard pops on the pitch.
Obviously, the actor who made Danny Boyle’s filmographic heyday didn’t let go of his usual charisma (though Krasinski doesn’t deserve it either). However, its implementation reflects a desire to replay the emotional issues of the first work with major trauma to heal, a desire that interferes with much more awkwardness in the story. An error that comes to interrupt two suspense sequences, including one that is exhilarating on paper, is incomprehensible in the execution and management of space.
The choice to lean on a well-deserved win from the original has, at the very least, the benefit of recycling its undeniable technical virtues, on top of that very clever sound mixing. Again, it cares about contemporary horror productions and their supercharged jumpscares (follow our view) and inspired staging, capable of creating suspense, even though the monster designs are still generic.
And this is how, despite being relatively less risky, Voiceless 2 confirms the former Jim from The Office’s skills behind the camera. Well aware that he can no longer use it almost exclusively off the pitch, he intends to change his conception of tension and rely on playing on a scale of strokes and an often virtuoso depth of field. Now, when they attacked, the creatures no longer appeared, they approached. A change of perspectiveif which is perfectly consistent with the expansion of the universe.
To convince us of this, the filmmaker opens his essay in a spectacular sequence, perhaps the most memorable story in the making. A true note of the film’s artistic intent, detailed with precision, and apart from elaborate decorations, a new way of recording insects, no longer hidden from view, but acting in broad daylight, in full frame. Likewise, their unoriginal appearance is largely offset by the quality of their special effects and the violence of their moves. They become sinister with their ability to devour depths of field to melt characters, and send them flying like rag dolls.
While the PG-13 rating is pushed to its limits, the director and screenwriter uncovered the feature film’s best argument: it constantly reminds us of the character’s fragility, upside down and against the climax of the first part. By separating families that were united early on thanks to alternating arrangements, he directly deprived himself of his accomplishments and fought against the very American tendency towards family reunification. They had learned to survive together, they had to learn to survive alone. So the real heroine remains the young girl played by Millicent Simmonds, at the heart of a narrative arc that borrows heavily from street movies in general, from The Last of Us in particular.
The quest, culminating in the climax of leveraging the game on a plan scale, ends up being interesting, as long as we agree to put logic aside. And while this sequel seems, a priori, above all to expand the plot of Sans un noise a bit artificially, it actually gives us a tale of emancipation in a universe where anything can be destroyed in the space of a second. That’s enough for the second installment, maybe not for the franchise.