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Sicario: Day of the Soldado



SICARIO II: DAY OF THE SOLDADO (Sollima, 2018)

If I may borrow a Jurassic Park line: the question wasn’t could they make a SIcario sequel; its should they have made a Sicario sequel. Call me a contrarian, but I’m actually of the camp that a sequel wasn’t actually that unnecessary. The original, while flawed, did paint a picture of some interesting characters that were well worth revisiting. Unfortunately, Soldado feels like a watered down off-brand version of the original with no added depth.

Brolin’s Graver and Del Toro’s Gillick are back, and this time we are told that there are no rules (as if there were before). Why are there no rules? Well, because they’re fighting the CommieNazis of our time: ISIS and Mexican Drug Cartels working in tandem. The only way to stop it? Start a cartel war by kidnapping one of the leader’s daughter and making them think the opposing cartel did it. Of course, this is a movie so it doesn’t go as planned and we get a lot of generic action movie tropes. Yes, it does get very roundabout and confusing.

Returning writer Taylor Sheridan’s script’s weirdly-paced but does have interesting action sequences that pay off well; but doesn’t really go beyond that. It gives us the fight, but no real reason to care about anyone involved. Everyone stays the one dimensional amoral unlikeable character they were in the original.

We do get tiny glimpses of nuance from Del Toro and Moner’s Logan-esque relationship and their chemistry works; the script is just so quick to drop it. It instead favors convenient plot points, and simply wants you to think “hey isn’t this badass???”. There’s more dimensions to everyone than we are shown.

It’s a shame because director Sollima and composer Guðnadóttir are really firing on all cylinders. Both of them are comparable to their previous counterparts Villeneuve and Jóhannsson respectively. They are both definitely people to check out in the future, but as far as the Sicario sequels go, I’m probably checking out after this one.

It’s not that it’s half bad, it’s just also not half good. It’s the epitome of “eh, catch it if you’ve got an afternoon and it’s for free streaming somewhere”.