SICARIO 2: DAY OF THE SOLEDAD

Paul Mendoza

The first Sicario (2015) was a dark and gloomy drama about a naive FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who gets schooled on the realities of the drug war on the US-Mexico border. It was beautifully shot of Roger Deakins, well written by Taylor Sheridan (Hell Or High Water) and directed by Denis Vilenueve (Blade Runner 2). I didn’t expect a sequel yet we have one! Sheridan again wrote the script but we have a new director, Stefano Solima and cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Martian). Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin return without Emily Blunt but the result is still a good film that is just as dark and gloomy as the first.

A group of people are trying to sneak across the border and encounter the US border patrol. However, one of these people is wearing a suicide jacket and when cornered, blows himself up. At the same time in Kansas City, suicide bombers blow up a grocery store killing 15 people. The US government decide to charge CIA agent Matt Graver (Brolin) to use extreme measure to combat drug cartels suspected of smuggling in terrorists into the US. Graver enlist his old buddy and assassin Alejandro Gallic (DelToro) and they set out to start a war between to drug cartels by killing the drug lawyer of one and kidnapping the young daughter of the head of the other. Things go extremely wrong with the rest of their operation and everything gets blown. Gallick grows attached the young girl and tries to protect against all odds. It all ends unpleasantly and not as expected and sets up the story for another sequel.

The performances are good, the action intense, good score. There are good cameos by Matthew Modine and Catherine Keener and Isabel Moner is good as the kidnapped girl. I was bothered some by the assertion that terrorists were being smuggled across the border, parroting a right wing basis for building a wall but there is some clarification later in the film that softens that stance.

Overall, I enjoyed the film, even the grim view of reality. If you liked the first film then you will like this one. Once you’re thoroughly depressed by the end you may want to slip into another theater and watch The Incredibles 2 to lighten your mood!