Sicario: Day of the Soldado

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5

Meh

Guns, guns, guns and they all come with the fingers to pull them. But where is the heart of it all? It’s probably in Benicio’s eyes as he empties another clip. I dont even know what that means, but it sounds cool. I guess. But just like this movie, it’s kinda pointless in the end.

Following what I would consider the great success of SicarioSicario: Day of the Soldado just loses its way. Sicario was really well thought out. It not only had great action sequences, but the storytelling was really refreshing. You learned on the same need-to-know basis as the main character (played by Emily Blunt) – which was almost nothing. She was just dragged around not knowing why or what her role was. You were confused and frustrated with her. She eventually discovers she was just being used. It seems like an annoying way to tell a tale but it just drew you in.

She was forced to accept the hard realities. In the end she was not so different as those she looked down on before. It highlighted the really difficult grey areas around “the Greater Good” and winning the war on crime and drugs to those on the ground fighting it. Sicario 2 just doesnt have that depth. It’s a step backwards in immersion. Even great performances by Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin cant fix the clichéd story problems this movie has. 

Day of Soldado felt more like a 24 plot line where there are some terrorist attacks that are then used to push a political agenda. But those behind it all are not who they seem. The moral equivalency plot device is used and the whole war loses legitimacy…. What do we do now?…Characters shrug. The end. Its a race to the pointlessness of it all. It’s a movie I think, that really wants to be a doco. So if things seem meaningless in the real world. And our movie ends up meaningless. Have we… have we really done something? Have we transcended the action genre..?’

…Nah. 

If you wanna know roughly what its about, Josh Brolin character’s kickass team goes to war with the Mexican drug lords. They do this by getting the different cartels to fight each other. He does this by kidnapping the daughter of one of the top drug lords and making it look like it was one of his rivals. Things get messy, problems ensue. They get new orders that make them feel uncomfortable. It’s all really standard stuff. So standard I was sure there was gonna be a good twist coming right up.

It sounds like I hate it. I dont hate it. Hate is way too heavy a word. It’s just disappointment. Most films you just know are not worth raising the bar for. I did lift it for this one. It started out well. I was there watching, being entertained. But I was waiting. Waiting for those moments the first one had. It felt like it was always about to happen. So I was into it while it was playing. Just looking back at it now I’m just… I’m just frustrated they went in this direction. 

I guess I’m afraid too. That this is just the beginning. That for the foreseeable future everything is going to be political. It’s just gonna seep into everything. Maybe its been this way for a while, I guess you could argue that it’s always been there to a degree. What interests and scares us will be written about and filmed. Often those will have political origins and implications. I just feel its getting worse. Are these new movies written just to make me think a certain way, so that I see a certain way, so I act…?

I don’t think this story will resonate how they want it to. I think it’s trying to do two things at once. A high action shoot’em up mixed with a negative, politicaZeitgeist. Hoping that the two would mix and harmonize but unfortunately, they cancel each other out. As a movie-goer I want to end up somewhere more interesting than my point of departure or be changed so much that the first place seems so different because of the journey that I’ve been on. That’s what the first one did. In Sicario, Emily Blunt‘s character and you the viewer found that by the end the same place looked totally different. The creators of that movie made making a great movie look really easy. Sicario: Day of the Soldado made it look hard.

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