Sicario 2 just becomes another action film, rather than a thriller with lots to say like its predecessor
Of all the films that didn’t need a sequel, Sicario seemed like it was fairly near to the top of the list. A thriller with a very specific appeal, and one that relies heavily on its balance of themes, characters, and plot, whilst utilising Denis Villaneuve’s incredible talent as a director. However, it’s sequel, Soldado, didn’t bring star Emily Blunt back to the franchise, leaving the film very light on human and relatable elements offering little in the way of genuine connectivity.
Three suicide bombers targeting a retail outlet in Kansas City cause widespread panic within the American government. Traced back to the Mexican border where many natives are smuggled into the United States, the bombings are blamed on the drug cartels. Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is given permission to disrupt the cartels any way he can, and quickly drafts in Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to assist in their destruction. The pair start a war between two major cartels, with the results spiralling into utter chaos.
It isn’t just the story ending in chaos as Sicario 2 becomes an all encompassing shootout allowing for very little enjoyment between the constant carnage. It’s strange to think of a film as not existing for enjoyment, but Sicario is about the entertainment, and that is a very specific style. Soldado misses that style, becoming a continuous drone of gunshots and ammunition, whilst gripping onto a difficult to follow plot, and seemingly endless run time.
Without Emily Blunt as a connector, the film is weighed down by its heavy demeanour, becoming too much for its own good. Brolin and Del Toro are fine actors, but their intense style is overbearing and doesn’t allow for a relatable and interesting piece to evolve. Sicario 2 just becomes another action film, rather than a thriller with lots to say like its predecessor.
Confusing, intense and lengthy are not a good mix of adjectives, and only enables the tossing of Sicario 2 onto the landfill pile of action films, something Villeneuve thrived to avoid with his original. There are clear reasons he didn’t direct the sequel, and after production, they are clearer than ever before.
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