Most drug related movies are violent as the whole drug business is a dangerous trade. The first Sicario movie was the same but the violence in that movie made sense. This second movie, on the other hand, is a bit abrupt as the script fails to explain to the audience what the hell is going on.
The film begins with FBI agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calling on a mysterious operative Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) when Mexican drug cartels start to smuggle terrorists across the US border. The war escalates even further when Alejandro kidnaps a top kingpin’s daughter to deliberately increase the tensions. When the young girl is seen as collateral damage, the two men will determine her fate as they question everything that they are fighting for.
The first part of the movie is quite insightful as it opens by noting that human trafficking is a big business for the cartels at the border. This big business has led to four terrorists infiltrating the US, and, in a horrific scene, going to a department store in Kansas City and blowing themselves up which is pretty intense. The second part, however, fails to give substance to a good plot as the director loses the audience and confuses them even more after the climax.
Josh Brolin, fresh from his performances as Thanos and Cable, is quite good. He’s playing the role of a badass army man who isn’t really fazed by emotions. But his character isn’t given much life by the writer who’s portrayed him in a similar nature to his role as Thanos in Avengers Infinity Wars.
Benicio Del Toro’s role is better than Brolin and that is thanks to his chemistry with the little girl Isabela Moner. He’s just a merciless assassin in the film but scenes like him using sign language to have a conversation with some deaf/dumb locals gives a different side to him.
Isabela Moner plays the role of the spoiled yet scrappy teen whose dad is a drug lord. Yet she is a breath of fresh air in the film dominated by men. She’s calm and has delivered a very mature performance. From her scrap with a classmate in school to her actions during the shootout, the scenes are quite commendable.
What makes the movie bad is the script as it isn’t clear and doesn’t paint a good picture. The movie spends a lot of its running time talking about politics, but unlike the first movie, it seems trapped in an earlier era, in which the American government felt like it needed an excuse for an extreme crackdown on illegal immigration.
One could even sense that the movie is trying to play with the humanitarian crisis, which makes it a bit odd and a questionable watch. Not to forget the mentions of a weak President which points towards the havoc happening beyond the frame. The cinematography is quite good but still not as good as the first part; but it’s one of few things that is good.
Day of the Soldado will surprise and disappoint in equal measures because in the end, the movie serves up the same brand of thrills from its first movie. But it’s unfortunately not up to what Denis Villeneuve, director of Sicario, 2015 would have served up.
Competent performances by Brolin, del Toro can only elevate the film to an extent, the rest, however, rests on director Stefano Sollima and writer Taylor Sheridan’s shoulders. Those posts, are weak and the film plummets despite its winning moments.
Published on July 8th, Sunday, 2018 11:54 AM
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