Sicario: Day of the Soldado Review

While it may boast two great male leads, Sicario: Day of the Soldado can’t muster up a great plot and lacks the suspense or shock to make it a memorable movie.

Following the events of the first film. U.S. Federal agent Matt Graves (Josh Brolin) reunites with mercenary and gun-for-hire Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to escalate a war between Mexican Drug Cartels. To do so, the two must stage a kidnapping of Isabel Reyes (Isabel Moner), a cartel leader’s daughter, and pin it on a rival cartel. But deceit from the Mexican police and within their own group lead to tough situation that will leave blood on everyone’s hands.

Day of Soldado is definitely a movie not for the faint of heart as it is downright gritty and rough from the get-go. The film opens in way that lets audiences know that these characters can get very dirty to get what they need done. The rest of the film follows suit with this style but often never captures the intensity of the opening. This isn’t to say that the film doesn’t have its light-hearted moments, but these moments are a little sparse so viewers could come away feeling the film was too depressing and full of dread.

The film also seems to lose some steam after the opening as it becomes a tad too complicated and not as easy to follow. The film goes from being a simple revenge/war story, that I was honestly interested in seeing all the way through, to more of a drama that doesn’t have much going for it. It also makes viewers try to care about a smaller sub-plot that comes together at the end, but is in the film so little that some might forget those characters are in the film at all.

 

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Brolin (left), Del Toro (right), and even Jeffery Donovan (center) are back to reprise their roles. PHOTO: TIME

 

Thankfully, Del Toro and Brolin still shine with this plot as the two create interesting moments that will make viewers want to see their characters’ fates. Their characters get a little more depth as the film goes on and they definitely bring some great and intense action scenes. However, the plot changes their characters and has them make decision that don’t necessarily feel like something the characters would have done.

Day of Soldado also suffers from a bit of mixed messaging as there are some characters who are a bit too ambiguous where they stand. While it’s definitely the film’s purpose to make viewers question whether or not the main characters are the good guys or the bad guys, after watching the film I felt a little too unsure. One character in particular made me feel as if the film wanted me to root for that character to win, but I never really felt that it gave me enough to do so.

 

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*How do we always manage to find ourselves in the desert* PHOTO: Variety

 

What Day of Soldado seems to lack the most, though, is a sense of danger or emotional weight. There are some moments where audiences will find themselves tense, but ultimately audiences will feel like the film can be a bit ridiculous at times. There isn’t much to feel for the characters so viewers won’t be swayed to be emotional towards these characters when they find themselves in tough situations.

Sicario: Day of Soldado doesn’t have much to it and its story is far from memorable. The film had great potential with an interesting concept and Brolin and Del Toro reprising their roles, but can’t capture the same magic as its predecessor.

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