Not as Good as The First

Sicario: Day of the Soladado, is a crime-thriller offering a grim view of reality. It is uncanny that a film playing off America’s greatest border fears, has been released in the midst of renewed political debate surrounding border security and immigration reform. For movie-goers, the film is essentially everything that they have come to expect following the first Sicario film released in 2015. Spoilers below.

Following a terrorist attack in Middle America, and discovering the terrorists used the Southern Border as a point of entry into the United States, a covert operation is implemented to institute a war between the drug cartels in Mexico. The plan is a simple one, used whatever means necessary to instigate the cartels against one another, just make sure that the United States maintains plausible deniability. This brings Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro) back together, to continue the crusade against the cartels they started in the first film.

Plans quickly go awry after abducting the daughter of a drug-lord and framing a rival cartel. After an ambush by cartel members disguised as Federales, Gillick and the daughter are separated from the U.S. strike team. The strike team upon returning home, is ordered back into Mexico to wipe the board and eliminate the Gillick and the girl. At this point, the film shifts tone substantially. It is no longer a plot driven thriller and become a character study. As we follow too former colleagues and “friends”, who know that they are no-longer on the same side of justice.

The biggest problem with Sicario 2 is, it feels like a filler film. We can tell that there will be a conclusion to the trilogy, and we leave the theater anxious and curious to see the resolve.

The plot is slightly convoluted, and the breaks are pumped slightly on the action and intensity of the first film. Like the original, the film is written by Taylor Sheridan. Denis Villeneuve does not return as director, so Stefano Sollima steps in as a replacement. The absence of Emily Blunt in this film is noticeable. The film is not as good as the first. The story is not as compelling, the action is not as good, and it lacks the suspense of the original. However, I have to assume that most viewers headed to the film have some idea what they are headed for and should leave the theater feeling entertained and satisfied. Sicario 2 won’t change your world, but It isn’t a bad way to spend a hot summer day.