Sicario: Day of the Soldado Movie Review

Just to get this out of the way, Sicario means hitman or hired killer.  Soldado is a spanish soldier.  Hopefully you can piece the rest together.

SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO is a sequel to the Denis Villeneuve directed 2015 film SICARIO starring Emily Blunt. A critically acclaimed gem following an idealistic FBI agent thrown into the dark world of our government’s border war on drugs. After a scene-stealing performance from Benicio del Toro as a mysterious hitman playing both sides of the wall so to speak, another film following his fascinating character quickly got into works. SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO follows a shift in war on the U.S./Mexico border.  Drugs are no longer the main focus as cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the U.S. border.  Josh Brolin returns as the American federal agent Matt Graver and once again enlists Alejandro’s (del Toro) help.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Intense and engaging, SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO is a worthy follow up. Taking over the directional duties, Stefano Solima (TV series Gomorrah) does an admirable job creating the same tone and atmosphere brought to life so viscerally by Denis Villeneuve, who has since gone on to exquisitely direct ARRIVAL and BLADE RUNNER 2049. Taylor Sheridan returns as the screenwriter with, similar to the first film, a sometimes flawed but overall intriguing script.

Much like SICARIO, we get a glimpse at some of the behind the scenes at America’s attempt to regulate the illegal actions happening at our border.  But we also follow some of those illegal actions.  Youth plays a role as we follow a young boy who is recruited by the cartel to help quietly sneak illegals across the border. We also get a glimpse at a top boss man’s daughter as she is kidnapped and protected by our protagonists hoping to start a war between rivalry cartels.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

The actors deserve a lot of credit.  Josh Brolin has proven himself as a reliable asset on any film set.  With a quickly rising best- summer-ever, Brolin has already starred in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and DEADPOOL 2.  But the true star of the film is Benicio del Toro, who should have been nominated for his previous portrayal of his tormented character Alejandro. Once again he delivers a dark mysterious character that feels dangerous yet with a hidden warmth that one is never quite sure which one he is going to unlock.  But every action is with tact and purpose.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Some of the sketchy plot points or character motivations are overlookable.  However, the film’s biggest flaw is how it abandons who a specific character is.  A choice Brolin’s character makes feels contradictory to what he would have done from who he was in the original film.  Not to say, that characters can’t change. And the situation does promote an understanding for a change of heart, but somehow it still feels insincere to what was previously established.

Ultimately, SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO is an intense thriller that moves at an engaging pace with some great performances that will keep you glued in until the very end.

OVERALL 3.5
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