Director: Stefano Sollima
Cast: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Donovan and Isabela Moner.
Denis Villeneuve's terrific 'Sicario' (2015) had the perfect formula. All vital components were perfectly mixed for a fast-paced, suspenseful action thriller. With this sequel, the main elements from the predecessor have been strangely compromised. Director Stefano Sollima remains in an underwhelming attempt to equal the greatness of the original.
In 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado', Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin reprise their roles as hitman Alejandro Gillick and CIA agent Matt Graver, who must team up to stop Mexican drug cartels from smuggling terrorists across the U.S. border. Matt meets up Alejandro as he gives him mission sans any rules so they can do whatever they want to fight against cartel boss. Things start going awry as the duo kidnap young girl Isabel (Isabel Moner), who is a daughter to cartel boss.
While 'Sicario' played more on tone, images, and simplicity rather than dramatic story elements and sentimental emotion; this sequel does exact other way around. Unlike its prequel, the story is not about the war on drugs, terrorism or border politics. It's about individuals being manipulated and used under government plans and policies. The film immediately starts with a terrorist attack in a supermarket, ultimately setting the dark tone for the rest of the runtime. This film is extremely blood soaked, violent, and sometimes haunting, but that's all it has going for it. It is also quite predictable barring a couple of moments with Del Toro towards the end.
On the technical ground, the film is pretty good with solid cinematography and excellent soundtrack that add plenty of suspense to the proceedings. There are a few nicely designed tense action sequences, however they are lost in the dreary pacing of the rest of the film. The best thing about this sequel is the acting, despite how little it can do to make up for the film's shortcomings. Both Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin once again give compelling performance. Isabela Moner is great too.
Overall, 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' does offer some good action and some truly brutal sequences, but as a sequel it lacks the authenticity and honesty of the original film. In the end, as the film winks about next part completing a trilogy, you can only hope things will be stepped up ahead.
Watch trailer here: