I recently checked out Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and I have to say that it’s a damn fine sequel. It isn’t quite as intense as the original, but overall it’s a high quality sequel that features some very dramatic action moments, and plenty of great performances, which are highlighted by Brolin and Del Toro’s return to their respective roles. You can get my full review below via the embedded video or script. It is rather spoiler free too, so no major plot points are covered, just the basics.
Hey now Sicario fans, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review Sicario: Day of the Soldado, aka the film sequel that doesn’t feature one of the main characters from the first film.
In all seriousness though, Emily Blunt’s absence doesn’t affect this tense and engaging action drama in the least, so while she’s a great actress, her character not being present doesn’t alter the sequel’s entertainment factor in any fashion.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a damn fine action/drama flick that is quite relevant in terms of today’s political climate, especially with all of the conversations about the southern border. At the start of the movie it’s revealed that Mexican cartels are smuggling terrorists into the United States at the souther border, which in turn causes the government to classify them as terrorist organizations. This then allows the government to start deploying its black ops forces to the border to screw with the cartels with the hopes of them taking themselves out, therefore making it appear as if the U.S. government had no hand in toppling Mexico’s most deadly cartels.
Due to the nature of the job Josh Brolin’s Matt Graver gets called in, because he specializes in doing extremely shady shit for the U.S. of A. without making it look like the U.S. was responsible for said shady shit. Thanks to his relationship with Benicio Del Toro’s Alejandro character, he enlists his help in getting the cartels into a war with each other, which he easily accepts so he can continue to exact his revenge on the Reyes cartel, the same organization he was hunting with Brolin and Blunt in the first Sicario.
Naturally, things don’t go as planned, as is usually the case with these types of shady government operations, but if I revealed more of the plot we’d be getting into deep spoilers, so we shall leave the plot summary alone at this point.
What really matters though is that this sequel is very good. I wouldn’t say it’s as intense as the original, but it definitely has its moments, which are made even more tension filled with the excellent score that really hammers home the stakes the main characters get themselves into.
I found the whole southern border setting to be quite relevant too, especially with all the immigration debates going on today. I appreciated the relevancy of where this film took place, because it helped to show a bit of what life is like at the border, and how migrants are herded like sheep by the cartels to cross it, and how this system affects citizens on both sides of the fence.
The culture of a border town and how residents are affected by living there actually makes up one of the movie’s main narratives, as it features two that run alongside each other. At first these two narratives seems worlds apart, but overtime you start to see that they’ll cross paths, and when they do it’s done in a way that makes complete sense, so I appreciated how these two stories became one, and I can assure you Sicario: Day of the Soldado’s story was told this way to set the stage for yet another sequel. You can definitely say that world building took place, and there’s a clear path forward for most of the characters you’ve come to know in this franchise, as well as a new one that gets introduced in the intertwined narrative I mentioned previously.
This film is all about its characters too, and Brolin and Del Toro are definitely the standouts. Brolin excels at playing the guy the government calls when it wants something nasty done. He is believable as a bad bad man, but also as one that has a heart for those he respects and cares about. He’s not just a government war machine even though he has no problems doing some really screwed up shit in the name of Uncle Sam. Del Toro on the other hand is very reserved, but deadly in his performance, and he too is a man that can commit some horrendous acts while also being heroic.
I have to mention the action set pieces as well, which really add to the drama side of this movie. People that love military power and special forces style missions will love all the tech and heavy machinery that is featured. Gun enthusiasts will surely appreciate the weaponry and firefights, which are pretty epic, especially when you witness a car chase that involves two military grade choppers.
My only complaint is that the ending just kind of piddles out when compared to the intensity of most of the movie, so while it succeeds in setting up another sequel, it felt a bit hollow when compared to every other scene that led up to it.
There’s no doubt that you will enjoy Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and I would say that you don’t even have to have seen the original to do so. Naturally it’ll make the sequel more impactful if you have seen it, but it’s good enough to stand on its own if you haven’t, which is a sign of a well ran operation from script to the final product. Plus, seeing the Collector and Thanos team up is always a treat, so Sicario: Day of the Soldado earns itself an 8.2 out of 10 review score from Team EB.
Thanks for watching, this is Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek Soldado one post at a time.
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