Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018), Dir. Stefano Sollima

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018), Dir. Stefano Sollima
You have no reason to trust me, but trusting me is how you’re going to survive.
— Alejandro, Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Stars: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Catherine Keener, Matthew Modine, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jeffrey Donovan, Elijah Rodriguez, David Castaneda, Bruno Bichir, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ian Bohen.
Director: Stefano Sollima
Screenplay: Taylor Sheridan

Lines; physical, metaphorical, personal, legal lines. Lines are drawn but can be smudged, and that smudge can sometimes erase its structure all together. Sicario played with these strict but movable lines, Sicario: Day of the Soldado just obliterates them without a second thought and sadly it is to its detriment. This is a shallow rendition to its mightier sibling. It loses all that grey area that made the first so intriguing and just goes for a rather bland black with the grace of a footless tap dancer. Once again Taylor Sheridan has surprised me with his weak plot and tragic script work; I am thinking that he has been replaced with an amateur copycat.

Benicio del Toro & Josh Brolin return as Alejandro Gillick & Matt Graver, however they are barely recognisable here. Gone is the back and forth on humanity. Maybe that is the point that these men have simply leaned too far into their dark side, but sadly that does not come off as intriguing at all but simply lazy.

There was a balance of story and toxic masculinity that came off as intelligent and analytical in the first Sicario. Here there is no delving into the sadness of what this life does to men and boys who are trapped and destined to this world of cartels and violence. Instead of exploring that tragedy we are presented with a paint by numbers story of hard toxic men shooting anything that moves and while it is not being painted as right, there is literally no con to this lifestyle—unless you are shot yourself.

If you loved the nuance and beauty of the first film, you are not going to find that beauty and thoughtfulness here.

★ ★ 1/2