By: Hawk Ripjaw –
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
So far, the most shocking thing about Sicario 2 is not that it got made, but that it’s getting good reviews. The original Sicario was a magnificent drama about the horrors of the war against drugs in Mexico. It was grim, beautifully shot, and surprisingly nihilistic, especially in regards to Emily Blunt’s character. Despite her idealistic goals to make a positive impact on the conflict, she eventually got swept up and did not matter at all in the greater scheme of things. There were no happy endings.
That’s why this sequel looks so misguided. While it’s got the same excellent writer (Taylor Sheridan), the director has changed and with him, the focus. This is marketed more like a buddy action flick than anything else, and there’s no Emily Blunt to be found (not that she should have been in this sequel—her part in the story was over).
And that horrible, godforsaken marketing. The name change to Sicario: Day of the Soldado. The Dia de Muertos mascot. The choppy trailers. This looks like a direct to video sequel, and it’s a feeling that the trailer haven’t been able to shake. Worse, the line “Only on the big screen” almost feels like someone is trying to remind us that it isn’t a VOD sequel. However, Sheridan writing is an automatic ticket purchase, and I hope at least that his script won’t let us down.
All doubts aside, nearly every actor involved in this movie has a remarkably strong track record, so the chips are relatively stacked in its favor even with the loss of Villeneueve at the helm.
Not being even remotely a fan of basketball, I believe this has something to do with some marketing campaign from years ago for Pepsi Max, but I have absolutely no other context on where this character came from. I did watch a couple of the commercials and I admire that they seem to be pretty well-made but I still don’t understand the joke. And for some horrible reason, years later there is a feature film starring the same main character. One wonders how an entire narrative could be built up from a basketball player looking like an old guy, and how that would even make for a good movie, but so far the audience reception has been bizarrely high for a movie that looks like it should have been made about 20 years ago. It also looks like it’s a raunchy comedy and a genuine sports film at the same time, and I’m not entirely certain that’s every fully worked.
I’ll freely admit that I am definitely not the target audience for this movie, but that’s partly because I’m not even sure who the exact target audience is supposed to be.