Don't Breathe 2

08/31/2021 06:44

Film: Don’t Breathe 2

Year: 2021

Director: Rodo Sayagues

Writer: Fede Alvarez and Rodo Saygues

Starring: Stephen Lang, Brendan Sexton III and Madelyn Grace



This was a movie that I was intrigued to learn was being made. I like the first one, but wasn’t sure where they were going to go with it for a sequel. Jaime and I caught this in the theater. We also watched the first just to brush up ahead of time as well. The synopsis here is in the years following the initial deadly home invasion where Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) lives in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him.

For this movie, we start much like the previous one did. We are seeing from above someone walking down a street and they collapse. It then shifts several years into the future. We see a young girl by the name of Phoenix (Madelyn Grace). A Rottweiler scares her and she flees. This dog is the same one from the previous movie. She gets away to a car where she sees a large revolver. She takes it and the blind man appears behind her. He grabs her and covers her mouth. We then see that this was a test. He is upset that she failed this test.

The two of them have been living an isolated life. She is the girl we saw in the beginning. From what I gather, Norman has a business with Hernandez (Stephanie Arcila). She takes plants he grows and sells them in town. She also buys supplies for him. Phoenix wants to go with her, but because she failed her test, she cannot. Norman shows a bit of a soft side and allows her to go.

During their drive, Hernandez asks if she wants to go to the house where her mother passed away. She knows she isn’t supposed to, but it will be their secret. Phoenix goes in and is spooked when she hears someone deeper in the house. They go about their day and we see Phoenix longing to be with other kids. She is lonely with her existence in isolation. She does get a scare in the girl’s bathroom before heading home. Raylan (Brendan Sexton III) is there and asks her some odd questions. This is coupled with a report we see right before it on the television about a doctor who is doing illegal organ transplants. We see that Phoenix is tough though.

The two head home and go about their night. It is interrupted though. Hernandez has an encounter with Raylan and his crew as she tries to leave. Their target is the girl, but Norman won’t allow them to take her easily. It becomes a fight for survival. We also learn that not everything is as it seems and the truth of who Raylan is will shake Phoenix’s existence to her core.

That is where I’ll leave my recap as that gets you up to speed. Where I want to start is that I like that this sequel doesn’t violate continuity. I’ll try not to spoil this movie or the previous one, but I might need reveal some minor ones to convey some of my thoughts and issues here. From the events in the first movie, I like that this one picks up with a different thing happening for Norman to end up with this child. It makes sense due to the complications there. I also feel this is low-key trying to help redeem Norman so that we side with him here as they make him our ‘hero’. It still bothered me with events from the first movie, but Jaime didn’t have as much issue there. I will defer there as it could be me being hard.

What I do like though is we’re continuing with having the lines of who our heroes and villains are being blurred still. If you look at this movie alone, Norman isn’t that bad of a guy. He just takes this little girl home with him. We learn that her home life wasn’t great though so I can be forgiving there. If we look at the events in the previous movie, he’s a rapist. How he is raising Phoenix isn’t good for her. He is isolating her and could be messing her up with the training he is forcing her to do. I do think Lang’s performance is good though. We learn that he’s a former Navy SEAL, which explains why he is so good at killing. Making him blind evens the playing field a bit.

Then on the other side we have Raylan and his crew. There is Duke (Rocci Williams), Jared (Bobby Schofield), Jim Bob (Adam Young) and Raul (Christian Zagia). It appears they all have military training so it makes this fight even more difficult for Norman than the previous film. The more we learn about them, the less we like them. They are drug dealers and the reason they are after this girl makes Raylan even worse in my eyes. While watching this, I can see they’re doing this to make Norman our hero, we need to make the villains even worse. What they try to do works well enough, but I can’t fully get on board either. I’d say that all of the acting is on point. It makes me despise them which I think is what you really need me to do for the villains.

What did impress me would be the effects. This movie went more brutal than I was expecting and I liked it. The blood has good color and consistency. Seeing some of the things they do worked for me and I’ll admit I cringed a few times. I’m giving credits here for sure. The cinematography isn’t as strong as the previous movie, but I think they do some interesting work there. It also helps with making the effects look better as well.

The last thing to go into would be the acting. I’ve said my thoughts on Lang along with the villains of the movie. There is Grace who I thought was solid as this child. She isn’t great, but I had no issues there. Events in this movie are playing with her character’s head. She handles that well in figuring out who to trust and who not to. Arcila is also in her role along with the rest of the people we get in the movie. They help to push our characters to where they end up. This falls more into an action movie where Lang has to overcome and it is somewhat of a redemption tale.

So then in conclusion here, I did enjoy parts of the movie. I think Lang’s performance is good and Sexton is a solid counterpart as a villain. It works for me that we have flawed characters and need to figure out how far we are going to go when deciding who to side with. The effects are quite brutal and the cinematography helped there. I still have my problems with events from the previous movie and siding with Norman as our hero. There are some questionable decisions as well and movie logic you need to accept. This is a step down in my opinion. I’d say this is over average. If you liked the first one, I think you could enjoy this. If you like more action type movies, you could as well.


My Rating: 6 out of 10