Sicario: Day of the Soldado is the follow up to the 2015 hit drug-war film Sicario. Like the previous film, it’s filled with unrelenting violence and morally ambiguous characters following through with their mission, however it does so without uniqueness or purpose. The first installment, directed with finesse by Denis Villeneuve, focused on Emily Blunt’s character and her moral dilemmas while fighting drug cartels on the violent US-Mexico border. Soldado drops the morals and fills its run time with anti-heroes that have no problem with the death and chaos they cause.
The film opens on the US-Mexico border where a suicide bomber blows himself up. Then cuts to a supermarket in Kansas where more suicide bombers blow up. The terrorist acts in the opening set up the main plot of the film: to try and stop the Mexican drug cartels from smuggling terrorists across the border by making them start a war with each other. Josh Brolin’s character Matt Graver recruits Benicio Del Toro’s Alejandro to kidnap the kingpin’s daughter to start the cartel war.
If you take the film into context of the current political climate in the US, it takes on more weight than it really should. It deals with the hot button topic of the US-Mexico border, but doesn’t really have anything to say about it. It just uses that backdrop as a way to kill a lot of people.
While the first Sicario felt like it had something to say, Soldado feels much more like a standard action film, trying to show the audience as much blood and guts as possible. It does a decent job of setting up action and suspense sequences, but adds little to characters that were already established in the first film and it never really makes it clear why this story needed to be told.
Whose Review gives Sicario: Day of the Soldado the overall rating of: Innecesario. The first Sicario film was a breath of fresh air, combining new artistic talent with writer Sheridan and director Villeneuve with masters of their craft like cinematographer Roger Deakins. Sheridan is the only one that remains, and while he does a good job of telling a violently, suspenseful story, it all feels very unnecessary.
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