Sicario: Day of the Soldado Movie Review
It's basically two hours of grueling violence that doesn't convey much other than current international predilections that we are all well-versed about.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Elijah Rodriguez, David Castaneda
Director: Stefano Sollima
This rather gritty but largely pointless sequel to the 2015 triple Oscar nominee, misses out on some of the key contributors from the original (Johann Johannsson, Roger Deakins, Denis Villeneuve, and actress Emily Blunt) and it shows up in the entreaty - so the promise of a tense and involving experience is severely muted. Sollima goes through the motions of making this a shocker but there's not much emotional connection to go with it.
Sollima's narrative begins in horrific fulmination - scenes of suicide bombers self-destructing in different formations – the most affecting of which is the one of a mother and child in a supermarket desperately pleading with the bomber to let them get out before the act. It's a violent and harsh opening gauntlet thrown at the audience in order to make the experience gruesome and intolerable to some extent. Cut to FBI agent Matt Graver(Josh Brolin) calling on mysterious operative Alejandro Gillick(Benicio Del Toro) to help deal with Mexican drug cartels who have intensified their efforts to smuggle terrorists across the U.S. border. Gillick's brainwave involves kidnapping a top kingpin's daughter to deliberately increase the tensions between opposing cartels. It's another matter that eventually the helpers become the hunted and ethics and morality takes a severe beating in a war that involves fighting terror with greater terror.
Director Stefano Sollima's skillset doesn't appear original or gravitating in the least. The shot-taking has a deja-vu feel to it and the elements are all rehashes of what we've seen before in the plethora of copycats that came out after the original.
Josh Brolin as Matt Graver has a redeeming stubbornness that has him rebelling against Uncle Sam's orders and Benicio Del Toro's expressions speak of the horrors of his own experience while dealing with the frightened and shocked young captive he hopes to release back into secure territory- but there's nothing much that's relatable beyond those two rather half-baked performances. The background score and editing aid the ambush happy plotting design well enough but the narrative feels listless and uninvolving because none of the characters feel worthy of our empathy or interest. They appear as people going through the motions of what is expected of them. Sollima's empathy building is severely skewed.
It's basically two hours of grueling violence that doesn't convey much other than current international predilections that we are all well-versed about. It's a pity that this one doesn't even conclude with aplomb - leaving loose ends that need an obvious third foray. But who will want to see it ? is a question the filmmakers will have to answer to before such fruitless adventurism takes shape again!'
Watch Sicario: Day of the Soldado Trailer
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