It’s going to be a little tough reviewing this movie since I’m not going to give away any important revelations from the first film. Needless to say I’ll be speaking in code and if you’ve seen the first movie and are reading this you’ll know what I am talking about. If you haven’t seen the first movie, stop what you are doing right this very instant and find it somewhere streaming, because it is an excellent film. And so is this one. SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO is a masterful sequel, as good as the original, well, hold up. I’ll issue my minor complaint right now. It is 99% as good as the original. The only 1% of this movie I didn’t like was how obvious they set this movie up for a part three, to complete the Sicario trilogy, since writer Taylor Sheridan has said in countless interviews he sees this one big story as three films. This movie is fantastic on its own but the last 3 mins had to be stupid bridge building like they do in other part 2 films. But other than that, this movie is enthralling, tense, bat shit crazy at times, incredibly acting, incredibly entertaining even though it is a slow burn thriller, incredible cinematography, and incredible direction. Which if you think about it, it’s actually an amazing feat considering you DON’T have the same masterful director as you did in the first one with Denis Villenueve, and you DON’T have your masterful cinematography this time around with Roger Deakins. It just makes this sequel much more legit in my eyes, because if the same behind the camera people were involved, you could just chalk it up to “figures.”
Ok, so the word Sicario, if you look it up, means hitman. And the first movie is about the CIA, with help from a mysterious agenda Benicio Del Toro’s Alejandro, bringing Emily Blunt’s character along, tracking down people from cartels that are responsible for dozens of bodies found in this home near the border, and a bomb goes off there killing several police/government officials. There is more to the story than that, especially the end game for Alejandro, but if you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t want to waste any reveals, because they are extremely good. The first movie was Emily Blunt’s characters point of view and her story. She is not back for the sequel, and I love how writer Taylor Sheridan didn’t try to make up some excuse to cram her in this one. Instead, the point of view shifts to Benicio Del Toro’s Alejandro and Josh Brolin’s Matt Craver, who is a leader of the Department of Justice’s special task force. They both have ample screen time in the first film, but with this, crank that notch to 11. Just like the first film, there is also one small point of view from the drug/trafficking side of the story. In the first one it was a male security guard, in this one it is a young boy. Their stories both start off separate, and how they merge into the main one are both a treat to watch. The only thing I’ll tell you about this plot is that the film starts with a brutal hard to watch terrorist attack in Kansas, people from Mexican cartels are identified as responsible and Brolin and Del Toro set up a mission of revenge. Of course, there is more too it than that, but the beauty of it is going along for the ride.
Not to forewarn you, this is not an action movie. It is a slow burn thriller with action beats throughout only when necessary. The story is with the characters, locations, and dialogue, it isn’t with bullets or explosions, so if you want that kind of movie, go find Michael Bay and give him a reach around. Everything in this film worked for me up until the last 3 minutes of the film, and even that was a minor nitpick. The score is fantastic, there was no fat in this film, I was eagerly awaiting to see where this story would go, I tried to predict it, but I was wrong on every level. Benicio Del Toro is amazing once again as Alejandro, he was born to play this character. Josh Brolin is usually always good and always brings his A game, and here is no different. A lot of his dialogue had me chuckling in my seat. And as I said earlier, there are a couple of bat shit crazy moments in this film, but one is particular was ballsy (you’ll know it when you see it). And while you might have to suspend some belief, the brutality of the aftermath of said scene was enough to believe it was plausible.
Anyway, the fun of the movie is discovering for yourself. If you are looking for an action movie, go somewhere else. There is action, and what little of it is strong and brutal, but not enough if you are expecting a rough ’em up and shoot ’em up movie. But if you love those slow burning plot pot boilers and love great storytelling and fantastic acting, with action beats only when necessary, look no further. But make sure you watch the fucking first movie before seeing this. You won’t have a clue of what really is going on and seeing the first film is critical to enjoying the plot and the character arcs. Bring on Sicario 3.