Sunday, December 16, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Many have wondered, not without reason, why did the Denis Villeneuve’s original film need a sequel. In truth, it didn’t, but it would be hard to argue that the first film is some kind of once-in-a-lifetime release, even though it is really good. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is in many ways a rehashing of the same story, which now adds a bigger global angle that came along with the introduction of a strong political overtone. From a certain vantage point, it could be said that the Stefano Sollima story is more critical towards the real-world War on Drugs, but in either case, it makes little difference.

This film is primarily an action thriller, based on tense scenes and short but violent gun battles. It is geopolitical to the core, so there is plenty of headline-like elements that connect Mexican cartels, Somalia ship hijacking, ISIS and the CIA. But, like the plot itself that revolves around the kidnapping of a cartel boss for the purpose of starting a war in the Mexican underground, Sicario: Day of the Soldado feels like a cross-section of all these geopolitical issues. Furthermore, the plot as well seems to be a cross-section of a broader story that is never fully shown to the viewers. If the movie was not good in its primary genres, all of this would end up being frustrating. Because Sollima, the film is well-made - it is just hazy in its narrative but still engaging just as much as the one Villeneuve made three years ago.