While not quite as fresh as the original, A Quiet Place Part II is a worthy follow-up. By continuing the same story rather than contriving a new one, we’re already invested in these characters before a single monster shows up. Dedicated performances, strong characters and continued narrative simplicity make it a better-than-average horror sequel…if you still want to call it one.
Though occasionally very bloody, Jakob’s Wife is seldom scary, nor does it really try that hard to be. And as bloodsucking antagonists go, The Master is relatively generic and perfunctory. However, the film is cleverly conceived, with a plenty of black comedy, some narrative surprises and an audacious performance by one of horror’s most luminary ladies.
While Mortal Kombat isn’t a particularly good film, it certainly delivers what its niche audience is expecting…lots of fighting, blood and shout-outs to a variety of tropes & characters. The door is left open for a sequel, of course, teasing MK gamers with a name they all know well, but those who’ve never played won’t have a clue about.
The Carnivores isn’t what anyone would call a fun film – Alice’s goofy co-worker provides the only levity – and one’s enjoyment certainly depends on their tolerance for the company of characters created to make them feel increasingly uncomfortable. However, the main characters are morbidly interesting (performed with conviction by Medel and Burdge). Their behavior and actions may even be tenuously relatable to some viewers, though I suspect many will never be able to forgive Alice.
The narrative is full of the usual plot twists and red herrings, but it’s efficiently-paced and fairly engaging, with a more coherent, self-contained story that doesn’t require a slide rule to follow (another common knock against some of the sequels). Though Rock occasionally seems out of his element, he turns in a decent performance and injects welcome moments of humor here and there, something completely absent from every previous film.
Wrath of Man more-resembles Jason Statham’s overall body of work than Guy Ritchie’s (though it is the director’s best film in ten years). There’s nothing about the film that resonates much afterwards, but it’s stylishly made and a lot of fun in the moment, with a solid story boosted by taut action and a sizable body count. I think Bronson would approve.