By: Movie Snurb (Three Beers) –
Josh Brolin is back and this time the US Government has declared the Mexican drug cartels terrorist organizations. So, they want to cause a war between the two main cartels. To do so Brolin goes and recruits Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to help Brolin kidnap the daughter of drug kingpin Carlos Reyes and frame a rival drug cartel. However, things don’t go smoothly and the plan backfires. Sheridan is back with another sharp script, except this script is probably his weakest yet.
Brolin and Del Toro lead a great cast of actors giving top performances. Brolin gives his smarmy, smartass, tough guy performance to perfection. We get to learn more about Del Toro’s Alejandro becoming even more human and much more sympathetic. Catherine Keener is woefully underused as a bureaucrat dishing out orders. You are lead (or at least I was) to think that she could end up being the bad guy in this film but she’s barely used at all. There are a couple of great moments of tension; however, the screenplay is still the weakest part of this film.
I was very excited to learn that there was going to be a sequel to Sicario, as I thought it was one of the greatest crime thrillers of all-time. However, I feel like without Denis Vilnueve’s expert direction the sequel went from taught thriller to shoot ‘em up action. What made the first Sicario so good was the tension. The first 30 minutes were just tension building up to one of the best scenes of the 21st century. This film chose to go with more violence and explosions rather than building the tension and crafting a smart thriller. Instead it was a bunch of shoot outs, explosions, and a story thrown in front of you so the audience doesn’t have to think about anything.
I think the main problem for this is there was no character who was the vessel through which the audience experiences the story. In the first film that was Kate; we discovered things as she did and were in total shock just as she was. It kept the story dark and moving along as the audience got to piece the story together as it progressed. In this film the story is just put right in front of you and you don’t have to think of anything except ‘wow what a big explosion’. I think if the film would’ve been told from the daughters’ point of view it could’ve been a much more interesting thriller.
Taylor Sheridan is a brilliant screenwriter, but unfortunately I feel like this was Sheridan’s first miss as a writer. Sicario 2 is well made, but the story is what was lacking. Maybe if they bring back Emily Blunt the third one could be really good.
Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado (2018) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time someone is killed.
Take a Drink: for every shot of a helicopter flying.
Do a Shot: for every moment of action used instead of tension building.
Do a Shot: every time Brolin is chewing gum.