A review of the new movie “Sicario 2: Soldado”

In the taut and exciting original movie, the action began with FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), but slowly and inexorably shifted to Columbian ‘adviser” Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) who – with support from CIA black ops expert Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) – emerged as the ‘sicario’ (hitman) of the title. In this accomplished sequel. there is no Kate, Alejandro is front and centre, and Matt’s position is more conflicted than ever.

This time, the action does not centre on drugs but people smuggling, while the intention is still the same: to create a war between the Mexican cartels so that the Americans have some kind of cause to intervene in a most brutal fashion. The inclusion of a couple of young characters – neither virtuous but both with their own vulnerabilities – adds texture to the tale.

There is a different director (Stefano Sollima of “Gomorrah”) and cinematographer (Dariusz Wolski of “The Martian” but, with the aid of the original scriptwriter (Taylor Sheridan), the sequel has the same gritty feel as the original with bleak landscapes, lots of tension, and frequent bloody action. The only real reservation is an unexpected ending which clearly sets us up for a third film. If the third act builds successfuly on the two other films and if it is a finale rather than just another money-maker, the “Sicario” trilogy will have been a triumph.


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