After 2016’s Don’t breathe, the audience had high hopes for the long-awaited sequel Don’t Breathe 2. It came out on August 13 by Song Pictures Releasing. The movie is directed by Rodo Sayagues, and let’s just say it did not stand up to our expectations.
The recent events were 8 years after the first movie. We see Norman Nordstrom as the protagonist, who lives in relative solitude with his 11-year-old daughter Phoenix and his Rottweiler, Shadow. One day phoenix was abducted by a mob gang leader, Raylan, which we will later find out was her biological father. About 8 years ago, Raylan’s house was burned down because of a meth lab explosion in the basement. After the explosion, Raylan was taken into custody and sentenced to eight years for various crimes. We come to know Norman was not her real father, but he took her from the burned home to fulfil his desire of having a daughter again. We see Norman fight till death to save his daughter from the gang. The movie ends with phoenix killing Raylan to save Norman, but he gives up and seems dead. And hence phoenix moves to a children’s home. In the post-credit scenes, it was implied that Norman might be alive, but that is for later sequels.
As a single movie, the film did not do badly. The action scenes, cinematography tricks, the suspense and performance of the actors maintained a constant chill on your spine. Madelyn Grace, who played the part of Phoenix, did an excellent job throughout the movie. The story is so well written and executed that it always keeps you invested in the movie, making you wonder what’s going to happen next.
But keeping in mind this is a sequel, we can’t ignore some things that the writers just choose to ignore. To understand this, you need to watch the first movie. In short, it was about a trio of thieves who were trying to rob Norman, who is the protagonist of the present movie, played by Stephen Lang. The movie was so exceptional because of the old and blind man, who was first shown as a vulnerable human. He turns out to be a horrible, perverted man who was mourning the death of his daughter. He was shown as a kidnapper, a rapist, and a murderer who killed in cold blood.
If you are a fan of the 2016 movie, it will be difficult to picture Norman as a loving do-gooder father in the second movie. It almost feels like the writers made this movie as a course-corrector for the first movie. It would have been nice to see a period where we can see Norman changing because of Phoenix. Although, if you haven’t seen the first movie, you can find Norman sympathetic.
We have to say, we loved the first part of the movie, the “home invasion” just like the last film. The thrill was out of this world. The signature tension which made the first movie so powerful and worth watching. But the writers turned Norman into an anti-hero, rather than an unspeakable villain, portrayed in the first movie which everyone loved. We love seeing a villain turn into a hero. For example, we loved “the suicide squad” sequels. But somehow, turning a villain with a backstory like Norman into a so-called hero backfired.
Despite these faults, is the movie enjoyable? Yes. Is it exciting and worth watching? Absolutely. So, next time you feel like having a raw action-horror movie for dinner, you know where to look. For other thriller movies, check out our “the vault” article.