FILM REVIEW: Sicario 2: Soldado

Sicario 2: Soldado. Pictured: Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick and Josh Brolin as Matt Graver.
Sicario 2: Soldado. Pictured: Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick and Josh Brolin as Matt Graver.

How do you win a battle when your enemy isn’t playing by any accepted ‘rules’?

In 2015 Denis ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Villeneuve’s Sicario blew cinema goers away as it showed how far the U.S. may have to go if it is to make any ground in the ‘war on drugs’ against the Mexican Cartels.

Now writer Taylor Sheridan returns with Italian Director Stefano ‘Suburra’ Sollima with a hard-hitting follow up that shows the black ops unofficial revenge mission the government sets in motion following a terrorist attack on a Kansas City supermarket.

Bad ass Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is given the task of destabilising the Reyes Cartel by kidnapping the boss’s daughter Isabel (Isabela ‘soon to be the new Dora the Explorer’ Moner), and making it look like the work of a rival cartel – starting a war.

Graver brings in his secret weapon Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) – the original Sicario - to get things moving but double crossing, betrayal and some brutal shoot-outs mean things do not work out as planned.

Sicario 2 dabbles a little in current political tensions – linking Cartels to Islamic terrorists (who they are helping smuggle fighters into the U.S.). But it is feels like it is just to frame the action, as one government official says “POTUS doesn’t have the stomach for this,” – they could have been talking about the even darker film this could have been.

Moner almost steals the movie with her spoilt princess act and killer pout but strong female characters are at a premium which is a shame as Emily Blunt was so good in the first film.

What Sicario 2 delivers then is a leisurely paced but rugged military flavoured war-on-drugs-and-terror-em-up. Brolin plays his patented singular emotion well and Del Toro is incredible as the unstoppable killer as these cool characters circle each other.

With an unresolved finale, the groundwork is done as a set up for a potentially great sequel which would make the Sicario saga a dark modern crime epic that would sit alongside The Godfather. These are not films for those looking for cheap thrills or nicely tied up moral tales but are excellent for those who want to experience viewing without safety barriers.

Take another trip on the wild side and then pray the next part comes soon.

Rating: 4/5

Review by Matt Adcock