Sicario: Day of the Soldado

After a bombing in Kansas City, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and his team are tasked with finding who planned and funded the bombing. When the investigation leads to a Mexican drug cartel, Graver again enlists the help of Alejandro (Benicio del Toro). Having learned from previous experience, they decide that it will be easier to take out the cartel if they are at war with rival factions around them.

Graver and Alejandro set a plan in motion to frame rivals for attacks on each other. This will spur retaliation among the groups. The key to their plan is to kidnap the Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner), the daughter of the cartel leader responsible for the bombing.

The kidnapping proceeds according to plan. As they continue, things quickly go south, leaving their plan and their lives in jeopardy.

Following up 2015’s Sicario, Sicario: Day of the Soldado doesn’t do the original any justice.

Josh Brolin is having a busy year. First was his role of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War followed by Cable in Deadpool 2. Reprising his role as Federal Agent Matt Graver, he finds himself again on the hero’s mission, employing questionable methods to obtain understandable goals. This role is, obviously, more grounded in reality. It seems as if Brolin has found his niche and doesn’t want to stray from it. Fortunately, he plays this role well. Opposite Brolin is Benicio del Toro’s Alejandro. As a man who lost his family, he is a more sympathetic than Graver. That doesn’t mean he is less effective, just that his methods don’t go quite as far. These two work well together, even if the material they’re working with isn’t up to the level of their last outing. The rest of the cast is pretty much disposable, sometimes literally. They are all fine, but serve as little more than background.

The story is a little muddled. We go from a suicide bombing to a Mexican cartel without stopping to make any logical connections. There is no motivation given for the relationship between the cartel and the bombers. There is also a side story that interrupts Graver and Alejandro’s story, further disrupt the pacing of the film. It is fairly easy to guess how it will play out later in the film, but it is mostly a distraction. While the cinematography is well done, it doesn’t make up for the lack of story development. The soundtrack is primarily a loud, bassy chord that repeats for most of the 2 hour run time. It gets a little grating after a while and was the one thing I remembered most about the film walking out of the theater. Add to that, the ending feels a bit rushed and almost like the writers didn’t know how to wrap it up. The only thing they knew for sure was they had to set up Sicario 3.

While the first Sicario was a more intense and well-made film, the sequel feels like they made a sequel just because people liked the first one. The story is too disjointed and, honestly, a little irresponsible given certain current events that it is hard to recommend. The summer movie season has been somewhat lacking this year, so Sicario: Day of the Soldado fits right in. If you’re planning to see a movie this weekend, check out one of Brolin’s other movies from this year, Tag, or even Incredibles 2.

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