By Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R
‘Sicario’ hit the big screens in 2015 and mustered up tons of buzz. Critics loved it and the intense crime-thriller went on to gross $85 million internationally. This type of critically acclaimed movie doesn’t usually muster up a sequel but here we are three years later. Here is my review of ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado.’
‘Day of the Soldado’ is directed by Stefano Sollima (did not direct the first) and is written by Taylor Sheridan who helmed the writing of the first film. Josh Brolin and Benecio Del Toro reprise their roles in the sequel but Emily Blunt does not return. The first film was quite the fulfilling tale, it included a well-told story that was portrayed wonderfully by the actors within the movie. Although the first films finish wasn’t uplifting or happy, it did feel fulfilling.
This sequel did surprise me and it’s very clear when watching this film that the story is somewhat abrupt. However, I am thankful for a sequel because Benecio Del Toro really did steal the show in the first film and he truly is such a draw. His character again steals the show in this film despite in my opinion, not being as motivated.
The cartel are now smuggling terrorists into the United States and the U.S government has officially put the cartel on the terrorist watch list. This means the DEA have way more jurisdiction and leeway to go in and basically start a war with the cartel. Here we have our movie. This film, in my opinion, is much less layered and motivated than the first. The pace lacks at times. That is very evident in the middle portion of the film, where it begins to transcend into a quite different direction entirely. I do believe Sheridan did the best job possible at writing this sequel, and I am glad Blunt’s character was not part of the story. She did a great job in the first film, but her presence would feel forced in ‘Day of the Soldado’. Props to the filmmakers and Sheridan for not being tacky with this movie.
‘Day of the Soldado’ offers up some good action and some truly brutal sequences. Josh Brolin gets a lot more hands on in this film and he is always fun to watch. This truly is the year of Brolin as he has ‘Infinity War’, ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Day of the Soldado’ now out. Benecio Del Toro does awesome again as previously stated and although I strongly feel his character motivations were rather blurred in this film, he offers a well enough acting job that it gets pulled off. Well done again, Benecio. The supporting cast does a solid job and younger actress Isabela Moner does a pretty good job in this movie. The other young actor who plays a larger role in this film, Elijah Rodriguez, also does a good job despite again some flaws in his story arc.
The score is incredible just like the first film. Many of the same riffs are used in this movie and all around the sounds and music really help to enhance the story and the tension. This movie, just like the first, does a great job at building tension and intensity. ‘Day of the Soldado’ does lose its main drive and waivers from its strongest plot points as the film progresses, and where the first film was a truly realistic take, this one has times that feel far-fetched and a couple sequences that feel out of place. This resulted in a loss of proper pacing and the movie feeling like a stepdown from the first.
The big plus: Josh Brolin, Benecio Del Toro, more violence than the first film. Truly has some intense moments that reflect the strengths of the first.
Where it lacks: Character motivations that aren’t as compelling as they are in the first film and plot points that are somewhat unfocused make this sequel feel like a stepdown from its predecessor.
‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ makes for a solid intense action-thriller with a good enough storyline that it passes on that. The acting is great again and our two main stars are so great in these roles and incredibly compelling to watch. A really great score helps to elevate intense moments but on the flipside the set up and sometimes payoff lacks.
Box Office Forecast:
‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ and ‘Uncle Drew’ open up this weekend. Initially both these films were projected to open with $10-15 million dollars but early estimates show that ‘Day of the Soldado’ will look for a potential $20 million dollar opening. ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ should win the weekend for a second one in a row but is expected to have a significant drop off from its debut last weekend. ‘Fallen Kingdom’ should garner another $60 million dollars this weekend. ‘Incredibles 2’ will look to pick up another $40 million and hold onto second place.
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