Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Last April I finally watched Sicario and I loved it. It was not flawless but it had a compelling story, interesting leading character, great acting, and suspenseful and thrilling action. I wish I could say the same about Sicario: Day of the Soldado, a sequel that falls far behind its predecessor. 

It's been a while since the events of the first film and now Mexican drug cartels are smuggling suicide bombers across the border into the United States. CIA agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is tasked to deal with the situations whatever it takes, even if that means starting a war between the cartels, and he brings in vengeful hitman Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro) to help him.

While the plot to the first film was simple and very straightforward, this one's is a tremendous mess. It's not even clear what the main storyline is as the film starts with a plot which is then completely ditched for something else. Also, it lacks logic, it's filled with holes and makes very little sense. And I'm shocked, I'm speechless, I'm angry even, because how is it possible that Taylor Sheridan wrote this mess?

The characters are just another of Sicario: Day of the Soldado's problems. There's very little character development and, as a result, it feels like the new female lead --god, I missed Emily Blunt's naive Kate Macer so much-- has too much screen time for a character you simply don't care about. As for the returning characters, they often act inconsistently as if they were completely different people than they were in the first movie. Not only this doesn't make any sense, but it's frustrating to see those characters, especially Alejandro, treated like that. 

The performances, on the other hand, are strong and definitely make the film more enjoyable. Josh Brolin does great in the role of Matt Graver, the amoral CIA agent, and delivers terror but also professionalism mainly through body language and appearance. Benicio del Toro steals the show though as he plays the thin character in a way that you end up rooting for him, even though he's far from being a hero. 

Columbia Pictures, Lionsgate, Rai Cinema

Then, of course, there's the direction. While Sicario benefits from the more than solid direction from Denis Villeneuve, Sicario: Day of the Soldado kind of crumbles under the direction of my fellow countryman Stefano Sollima. He fails almost completely at delivering drama and tension, and the atmosphere never feels as threatening as it should feel. The result? A pretty boring film that cannot be saved with a few great performances, a great musical score and a beautiful cinematography. 


  1. If it's on TV, I'll probably watch it though I know it's not going to be as good as Sicario.

  2. This was a complete letdown for me. It needed Kate, or at least a freaking mention of her.