Sicario 2: Soldado Review
- 2hr 2min
- Thriller | Crime | Drama
- June 2018
- Stefano Sollima
Kansas City falls victim to an act of terror and as evidence unfolds of the smuggling of terrorists across the US-Mexican border, the US government must react. At the request of the US secretary of state agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is called upon to initiate a war between major Mexican drug cartels and with the help of Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).
Whilst accomplished screenwriter Taylor Sheridan returns to the ‘Sicario’ Franchise alongside Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, director Denis Villeneuve, cinematographer Roger Deakins and Emily Blunt do not unfortunately make up the line-up for the sequel to the critically acclaimed original. Whilst the original did not leave a natural path open for a sequel the producers of the movie have confirmed this will be the second film of a planned trilogy.
Much like its predecessor, Sicario 2: Soldado is brave in representing humans’ brutality. The opening scene, indeed, strikes the audience with truly horrific imagery that could potentially be too vivid for some and it will undoubtedly cause a reaction. The portrayal of the dramatic contrast between our relatively safe world and the tough life among the Mexican drug cartels sets the tone perfectly with the film’s plot line focusing on the breach of terrorists across the US-Mexican border. The relatable nature of the events to present world issues, especially in the context of the threats posed by terrorism, drug trafficking and often opaque action of governments, increase believability and credibility. Once the mission is fully underway, scenes of violence accompanied by heart pumping music create the film’s most gripping and tense scenes.
Unfortunately, whilst impactful, these moments never reach the heights of the original which could partly be due to the lack of a central character. While Emily Blunt provided a defined connection with reality which audiences could relate to Sicario 2: Soldado does not build upon the character arcs of the leading duo enough to remedy this issue and the absence of a character of Blunt genre becomes more pronounced.
That said Brolin and Del Toro do, as expected, shine in their respective roles. However, a special mention must be reserved for the film’s youngest cast members, Isabela Moner, who plays a very convincing Daughter of a Cartel Kingpin. After receiving a lot of unfair criticism for Transformers: The Last Knight, she delivers a performance full of energy and emotion that contributes to one of the most problematic ethical issues the film deals with: the use of children within drug cartels.
Seeing her relationship develop with Del Toro is one of the highlights of the latter stages of the film, but unfortunately, the third act drifts away from the realistic tone the previous acts delivered, as the drama takes an illogical turn. Considering the most impactful scenes from the film are those filled with tension that leaves you worried for the safety of the characters, the film becomes frustrating with its loss of identity and the fortuitous nature of events towards the conclusion makes for a weak ending.
Despite all of this, Sicario 2: Soldado is a very watchable action thriller, with the finale of the movie offering a brief look into what the third instalment of the trilogy may hold.