|About:||:||Sicario: Day of the Soldado||Directed by:||:||Stefano Sollima||Produced by:||:||Basil Iwanyk,Edward L. McDonnell,Molly Smith,Thad Luckinbill,Trent Luckinbill||Screenplay by:||:||Taylor Sheridan||Written by:||:||Taylor Sheridan||Starring:||:||Benicio del Toro,Josh Brolin,Isabela Moner,Jeffrey Donovan,Manuel Garcia-Rulfo,Catherine Keener||Music by:||:||Hildur Guðnadóttir||Cinematography:||:||Dariusz Wolski||Edited by:||:||Matthew Newman||Production company: Black Label Media,Thunder Road Pictures,Columbia Pictures,Lionsgate||Release Date:||:||29 June 2018 (USA)||Duration:||:||122 minutes||Country:||:||USA||Language:||:||English||Rating:||:||7.3||Year:||:||2018||Catagory:||:||Action | Crime | Drama | Thriller||Also Known As:||:||Sicario 2, Sicario 2: Soldado,Soldado,Sicario: Día del soldado,Сикарио 2: Солдадо,Sicário: Dia do Soldado,Sicario: Le jour du soldat,Sicario: El día del soldado,Sicario 2: Soldado,Sicario: la guerre des cartels,Sicario 2: Soldado,,Sicario 2: Η μάχη των εκτελεστών,Sicario 2: A zsoldos,Sicario: ha'nekama,Sicario 2: Karteliu karai,Sicario: día del soldado,,Sicario: El Día Del Soldado,Soldado: The Soldier,Sicario: Guerra de Cartéis,Убийца 2. Против всех||Budget:||:||$35-45 million||Age Restriction:||:||N/A||Box Office:||:||$59 million|
Storyline : The drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.
If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t spoil it here — watch it first, then come back.
When I heard that “Sicario” was getting a sequel, my first question was “why?” The first film was great, but was a sequel really necessary? “Sicario” had a pretty definitive beginning, middle, and end and was certainly not the franchise-style movie we are used to seeing in other fictitious universes like Marvel or Star Wars.
The answer to my questions? A sequel was not necessary, but I’m glad I got one. If you liked the first movie, I would recommend giving this one a watch.
“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” opens with some pretty brutal terrorist attacks. Many of the terrorists in the film arrived in the U.S. via the U.S.-Mexico border, so the Americans go all out in combating the cartels as a means of controlling the border. This means starting a war between the cartels in an effort to get them to destroy each other. Josh Brolin’s character Matt Graver returns from the first film to run the operation, and he recruits Alejandro, the hitman from the first installment played by Benicio Del Toro.
I can’t speak much for border politics — I haven’t worked in that area, and my opinions are just opinions, based on nothing more than some cursory internet research. However, I can speak to the tactical portions and the feeling of being a guy on the ground and having to fight the will and command of politicians far removed from the fight.
Tactically speaking, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” has that same gritty, ultra-realism tone that made the first one so powerful. The firefights are not long — they are staccato, brutal, and over in seconds, just as they tend to be in reality. It’s a fiction film, but it definitely achieves the next level of realism that I’ve only seen in a few movies, to include the traffic jam sequence in the first “Sicario,” the gunfights in “Wind River,” or even some scenes from HBO’s very dark comedy, “Barry.”
I could probably sit there and pick apart faults in a tactical movement here, or a reload there — but I could probably do the same for myself in real life, over and over again forever. At the end of the day, this movie very accurately illustrates the insane advantage given to a shooter if they have a solid foundation of the basics of gun fighting, tactical patience, and brutal precision. These fights are generally over in a matter of seconds, followed by a deafening silence and the remaining shooters continuing on with business. The emotions can come long before, or long after, but during the fighting and operations thereafter there is no time for any of that.
“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” also quite accurately depicts how politicians can get their fingers into these operations and start pulling on strings that are quite simply bad for everyone. Bad for the operators on the ground, bad for the civilians in the area, bad for the mission, bad for the war — these decisions are usually only good for their careers and serve to hand an advantage to whatever enemy we’re engaged with. It’s illustrated a bit dramatically in this film, but these things are still common in real life — for example, new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to appease certain political opinions that put everyone on the ground in danger, nearby civilians included. Or, as I described in a previous article, changes in how drones are used.
Like a lot of these types of movies, this film serves to show just how complex some of these conflicts can be. They are filled with bureaucracy, career-oriented politicians who are completely detached from reality, brutal enemy forces, willing and capable friendly forces right in the middle, countless victims on all sides, and a million other factors that blur the lines between right and wrong. I have always believed that the right choice is always there (or at least the lesser of two evils), but sometimes it can be difficult to find, and it can come at a high price.
Filed Under: Featured, Lifestyle Tagged With: Alejandro, Benicio Del Toro, cartel, Day of the soldado, drug wars, film criticism, Headline, hitman, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Brolin, Luke Ryan, Matt Graver, movie about cartels, movie critic, Sicario, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, stefano sollima, trafficking, U.S.-Mexico border
Immoral choices: a Review of ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’
The Plot: The drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro. Available on SHOWTIME.
Review: It is nearly impossible to watch “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” without the current political relationship between the United States and Mexico on your mind. As US citizens, we’ve come to believe that Mexico is an unruly place controlled by drug cartels, corrupt cops, and a political system unwilling or unable to stop any of it. All this leads to the greatest humanitarian crisis in North America as thousands flee their homeland for a better life. As they enter the US, they are faced with a harsh reality. This country is divided and unable to assist. Instead, we have detention centers, lethargic immigration systems, and politicians spewing xenophobia and vitriol. When combined, this mixture creates a powder keg; one this film takes full advantage of with precision, violence, and pain.
This film uses a bombing at a shopping center in Kansas City to get the ball rolling. When it is revealed that the bombers were of Arabic descent, the US responds in the most US of ways. Violence, torture, compromised men, and immoral choices in an immoral war have all become hallmarks of the war on terror and they are used here to find some sense of truth. The truth is these men were American, trained abroad, and re-entered the country through the US/Mexican border. This reveals a much bigger issue than just homegrown terrorists. A cartel war is brewing below our southern border and in its wake is left death, drugs, and human trafficking. As the US works to broaden the definition of terrorism to include the cartels, it becomes clear to the audience the US government is going to war with them; a move we’ve made before and are probably making at this very moment.
This war won’t be fought like other wars. Instead, children will be used as pawns. Betrayal will sicken the audience. A change in politics will define the day and victims will be left at the border. As the film plays out, it becomes increasingly apparent how complicated our relationship is with Mexico; neither side playing nice or fair. To demonstrate this lack of trust, “Sicario” once again returns to a stomach-turning border crossing scene. As bullets fly and people die, you get a sense that this war could go on forever.
For some, at times, this movie can feel disjointed and disconnected. It asks a lot of the audience. It requires connecting dots and stringing pieces together. It leaves things unsaid and allows others to linger. Most audience members don’t have the patience for this sort of thing. I understand this mindset because I frequently find myself in the same position. For me, it worked here and ended up being a movie I enjoyed more than the original which is something I almost never say.