Sicario: Day of the Soldado – Movie Review

Trailer: https://youtu.be/sIMChzE_aCo

Rating: C+

Positives

  • All the performances here are pretty solid. Not one in particular stands out. Benicio del Toro continues to bring his sly mysteriousness to the character of “Alejandro”. While Josh Brolin, Cathrine Keener and Isabela Moner all do a fine job.
  • Though the direction isn’t nearly on par with Denis Villeneuve’s from the first one there are a couple of nice sequences here from Stefano Sollima. The standout one being a kidnapping sequence that does bring some nice tension. Though I will say no moments from this one even come close to rivaling any from the original “Sicario”.
  • Though I will say a lot of problems stem from the screenplay, the screenplay does introduce an interesting theme, that being the affect the drug trade has on children. That theme is quite interesting especially with the affect it has on del Toro’s character, “Alejandro”. In the first “Sicario” we learn that “Alejandro” lost his family by the hands of the cartel and we see how cold blooded he has become from that. In the first film we even see him killing women and children to attempt revenge. Here in the sequel we see him by the side of a younger girl and we see them grow a bond. Which is definitely an interesting point in his arc.

Negatives

  • This films entire aesthetic is a cheap copy of the original. Though they were given a tough task of following one of the best directors working today, Denis Villeneuve, and the greatest cinematographer of all time, Roger Deakins. They still come off as  cheap rip-offs. Though the score here is nice, it as well comes off as it is just trying to replicate Jóhann Jóhannsson’s brilliant score from the original.
  • This films scope comes off a lot bigger here compared to the original. With the original the smaller scope helped give the film its near constant white-knuckle tension. While with the bigger scope the tension comes in just spurts.
  • The screenplay here has many problems. First off, like the original this film introduces a subplot. Here the subplot involves a kid being brought into the drug trade. And never for once do you care about this kid at all. Both the character and the performance come off quite dull.
  • Another screenplay problem is the shifting view of Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin’s characters. The first film is told from the perspective of an FBI agent, played brilliantly by Emily Blunt, and slowly she sees how del Toro and Brolin’s characters are villains in there own way. While in this film Blunt’s character is absent and the story is told from the perspective of del Toro and Brolin’s characters. Here they are still “bad guys”, but del Toro’s character is humanized more and is portrayed as the somewhat “good guy” of the story.
  • The screenplay also treats terrorism as a gripping device, which is very off-putting. You see in the opening of the film a terrorist attack and after about 5-10 minutes they just use it as a red herring. It’s as if they just wanted to get your attention with the opening scene and afterwards just throw it to the wayside. While the original had a gripping metaphoric opening that kicked off the film very well.

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