Sicario: Day of the Soldado Review

This is a review of the TV-14 version of this film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version could be more negative

It’s time for the big Sicario sequel. I actually thought this one was quite a bit better as it plays out more like a classic action thriller. It definitely has a very different feel from the first but I’d also say it works well as more of a classic adventure for the crew without worrying about anyone new on the team. So in that way it makes sense that the film can just get down to business. Additionally it felt a lot les gritty than the last adventure.

The film starts off with Isis sending in a bunch of suicide bombers to a supermarket in Texas where they cause a lot of damage and a ton of people die. The government has decided to take down the Mexican Cartels once and for all. This time they are serious for real! So they call in Alejandro one more time. He’s told that this time he will be able to do whatever he wants because the idea is to make as much noise as possible. Basically they are going to frame each cartel so that they are all fighting each other and that will keep the U.S. free in the background. Well Alejandro is certainly happy to do this and he goes around blowing everything up but eventually the government gets cold feet and tells him to stop. Thing is, they want him to murder a little girl named Isabel too so now he has to find a way to keep her alive while dodging the Cartels and the government. Won’t be an easy job.

It was definitely predictable that the government would suddenly turn back but it was definitely annoying. When you leave a job half done that is just a recipe for disaster and that’s basically what happens here. It’s hard to just stop an operation midway like this and especially due to an event happening that was super predictable and everyone saw it coming. It just seemed a little bit crazy right out of the gate. The people in charge there were all super annoying and of course saying that they wanted to destroy the little girl was just so randomly out of left field. I knew the government was going to be shady but did they have to be this shady? It just seemed like a bit much if you ask me.

Alejandro does well as the lead though. He doesn’t compromise on his goal of saving Isabel here. He will defy any and everyone in order to make this happen and he’s someone that she can count on which is important since just about everyone she met has been rather two faced up to this point. It’s certainly not an easy adventure for her either since the whole chase and being kidnapped parts were definitely real stressful. She takes the experience as well as she can though and is good at catching up to speed right away. Alejandro’s gun skills are still at a really high level here as well.

Like in the last film Matt tends to play more of a shadow role compared to Alejandro. We know that Matt is generally very skilled as well and he gives orders but it’s just easy to forget that he is around at times since Alejandro takes center stage. Matt also has to follow the rules a lot more at least verbally so he isn’t able to help Alejandro much. By the end he helps in making the right call at least so I’ll give him some credit there.

The film definitely still has its share of violence as everyone is getting shot up throughout but the film is less about how violent and desolate everything is and more about the mission. This is really a frame up movie for the first half and then a rescue/extraction for the second half. The story is fairly tight and moves quickly with the action. It just felt more like what you’d see in James Bond or Jason Bourne compared to the first which was just aiming to be hyper realistic the whole time.

You do still feel the whole time like the government could have been backing up Alejandro a bit more though. Always having to do things in secret and then pretend they weren’t helping does get old after a while. It’s why you definitely wouldn’t want to work for the CIA since they can turn on you in the blink of an eye. The instant you are seen as no longer useful or expendable is the instant this all becomes a game over moment for you.

Overall, The second Sicario film continues to show how difficult it is to fight a cartel. It’s not quite like fighting a villain organization where you can go in and destroy everybody. These guys are all very scattered and blend in with other lives around them. They don’t all wear the same uniform or stay at a central base either. In a way putting the cartels against each other is the easiest way because you let them figure that all out but at the same time you are also resigning a lot of civilians to death since the cartels are going to try going for quick results rather than doing things very safely. It’s always a big risk to consider and it’s why this was a fairly shady move on all sides. Still, it makes for a fairly engaging film and there is a lot of tension throughout. Without Kate here it almost feels like there is no true main character. Of course Alejandro is the lead but you’re used to him as more of the side character role so it’s just a bit different. This feels like you’re thrown in the middle of a bigger operation and the film ends before it’s all totally over. It leads in well to a sequel and works well enough for the adventure even if I think we need more of a story and more standout characters before I would really call this film very solid.

Overall 5/10

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