Stephen Lang returns as Norman Nordstrom / “The Blind Man,” a blind military veteran you don’t want to mess with in Sony Pictures’ Don’t Breathe 2. Rodo Sayagues makes his directorial debut with the film. In addition, Sayagues co-writes the film’s screenplay with Fede Álvarez, the first film’s director.
In the eight years since surviving an attempted robbery on his home by utilizing his military training, Norman lives a quiet life with his dog Shadow and raises a daughter named Phoenix (Madelyn Grace). Norman spends his days teaching Phoenix survival skills and reiterating that her birth mother died in a house fire. One day, Phoenix takes a trip to town with Hernandez, a friend of Norman’s. During the trip, she’s almost abducted by the mysterious Raylan (Brendan Sexton III).
Through a series of events that I won’t reveal in my review, as the trailer for Don’t Breathe 2 already spoils them enough, Raylan eventually is successful in obtaining Phoenix. Phoenix’s kidnapping leads Norman to a new mission of vengeance, taking out anyone who gets in his way.
Don’t Breathe was released in 2016 and ended up with a worldwide total of $157.1 million, against a production budget of $9.9 million. Despite the first film having somewhat of a conclusive ending in my opinion, the box office all but ensured a sequel was inevitable. Don’t Breathe 2 has a pretty simplistic plot, and naturally, it’s just to serve as a background for Stephen Lang to kick some ass. Lang is having a great time in the role, and given that I’m a longtime fan of his, I enjoyed the actor in the part.
One angle that the film takes that may bother some viewers is turning Norman into somewhat of a hero. The supporting characters all pretty much follow the standard character templates for a movie of this sort. However, Brendan Sexton III was an enjoyable bad guy, and Madelyn Grace taps into the final girl trope pretty well, while avoiding becoming overly cutesy. Now, on the one hand, after the despicable behavior that eventually came to light about Norman in the first film, I can see why some viewers would have an issue with this.
However, for as long as I can remember, audiences love to root for the bad guy, and Norman’s character changes worked for me. Thanks to a quick run time, Don’t Breathe 2 never overstays its welcome. More concerned with the action than horror, Don’t Breathe 2 is an enjoyable time waster.
Don’t Breathe 2 is in theaters now
Final Grade: C+