Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a sequel to Sicario which was released in 2015. The first one was directed by Denis Villeneuve and for the second film the new guy took the mantle – Stefano Sollima, to be honest never head of him before. Despite the changes, both movie wrote by same writer Taylor Sheridan. I love the first one very much, if I would rated it today a 9 is pretty much an easy score to give. It also the film that introduce me to the great Denis Villeneuve which later direct movie like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.
So I went to watch this sequel with high expectation but a bit skeptical because they change the director and also because how the first movie end. In the end my skeptical was justify, the movie isn’t as good as the first one but to be fair it was pretty high standard to match. The first film have this surprise factor in the story that make it great, Soldado try to bring that back and in some extend it work however not as great.
What make Sicario great is because it was story about Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro), however the way it played out he doesn’t seem as the main man. If first one it was because of Kate Mace (Emily Blunt), the second film they have two which are Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner) and Elijah Rodriquez (Miguel Hernandez). The story begins with few bombing happening in Kansas City which US goverment suspect Mexico’s drug cartels responsible.
In respond US government asked Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to stir up trouble that could make the drug cartels be at war with each other, as I’m pretty sure they do. So Matt asked Alejandro to help him kidnapped Isabela which daughter of the drug lord. As any thing that happened in life, thing went wrong and story start to become more interesting. You must be wonder, “so.. how Elijah came into picture?”, I guess that is the magic that still continue in this film. It kept all cards closed to the chest, you can’t really predict what would happen and what the character got to do with anything.
As story progress, things start to open up and it become more and more interesting however it was done not as subtle as the first one. There are too many plot where it become too situational making it less authentic. In overall they is left with so much to desire. The story also feel rushed and unfinished, there are too many thing left unexplained. The first film end in a way where you don’t expect a sequel, however this film felt like forcing you to wait for another sequel which not always work great.
The action still good, even though there are some part which I think too “actioney” something that you would see in ‘not that good action’ movie. I guess that the different between Denis Villeneuve and Stefano Sollima. Denis like his movie to be subtle but with some action that look and feel authentic, Soldado just missing that magic. I can’t fault the acting as they all done great, new and returning cast. The movie also looks good.
In overall, if you expecting something as brilliant as the first Sicario, you will be disappointed. However if you looking for action movie with decent storytelling, this movie will give you just that and a bit more.