Sicario 2: Soldado – Film Review

I didn’t love the original Sicario as much as everyone else and I didn’t hold much hope for this instalment knowing it would be without Emily Blunt and cinematographer Roger Deakins, my two favourite things about the first. They were certainly missed in this sequel, also known as Day of the Soldado, which I didn’t like much, yet again.

Josh Brolin is back as Matt Graver, a man who is hired by the CIA to do their dirty work. This time around, he is asked to start a war between two rivals Mexican cartels after agents believe they are smuggling terrorists into the US. To start the war, Graver and his source Alejandro (Benicio del Toro) kidnap Isabela (Isabela Moner), the daughter of a cartel boss, but the mission doesn’t quite go to plan.

Like before, I really struggled to follow the plot because I didn’t understand why anything was happening, and ultimately, without giving anything away, the whole premise ends up being quite pointless and ridiculous. I couldn’t invest in the story. The only one I liked was Isabela because she was young, cute and feisty, while Alejandro, a hitman avenging his family’s death, at least gets more of a sympathetic arc this time around.

Moner was probably my favourite here as you saw their cutthroat world through her eyes and she put on a convincing Mexican accent. Del Toro has more to play with this time around, rather than being just mysterious and evil, and it was refreshing to see another, nicer side of him. I didn’t care for Brolin or his character at all – so unlikeable, nothing redeeming there.

I’m not squeamish when it comes to violence but I got fed up of it here. So many people are gunned down without mercy, or executed at point blank range. I couldn’t even estimate the body count lost to the many many gun fights. Other kinds of violence were OK, there are some gruesome bloody bits, I just couldn’t deal with the senseless shooting. It’s a brutal watch at times.

I don’t think this sequel was needed or necessary and doesn’t work as well without Blunt. While I didn’t love the story last time, I could at least appreciate the stunning cinematography, but that’s not there this time due to the departure of Deakins. Even director Denis Villeneuve hasn’t come back, instead being replaced by Stefano Sollima.

If you liked the original, you will love this, but as someone who didn’t, I couldn’t find much to enjoy in this hard-to-follow story.

In cinemas Friday 29th June 

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