Benicio Del Toro and James Brolin reunite to kill more bad guys in Sicario: Day of the Soldado. (Sony Pictures)

Reel Reviews: Soldiers fighting crime with crime

We say, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado sets up the characters for further sequels.”

After American authorities discover Mexican cartels have begun smuggling international terrorists across the border for profit, they decide to bring in Justice Department specialist Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to solve the problem. Graver, working secretly with his near infinite resources reunites with a hitman (Benicio Del Toro) to kidnap the daughter of a cartel kingpin and blame it on a rival cartel. This plan has problems from the beginning and most of the players will end up dead before officials can even cover up their tracks.

We say, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado sets up the characters for further sequels.”

TAYLOR: A soldado is a soldier, in Spanish. This “day of the soldier” comes when the American government decides to classify the Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations, setting them squarely in the purview of the military, which means, of course, that they no longer need to worry about working from within the law. Black Operators do secret works with secret budgets employing soldiers who follow orders. How much this coincides with reality I do not know, but it does make for a tidy, polished series of high tech murders. The fact is that these killings are the window dressings of a film about the blurry greyness of our good guy, bad guy paradigm. After watching this film, much like the first Sicario film, I didn’t feel like I was supposed to have my mind made up about any action undertaken by its characters, like them, I’m just exhausted and wish these things hadn’t happened in the first place.

HOWE: Huh? What?! I just got off a plane from Toronto, having returned with my family from our recent trip to England. What day is this?

TAYLOR: In the first Sicario, (Spanish for ‘hitman’) Emily Blunt played a FBI agent who cut her teeth in a different, morally ambiguous government operation with Brolin’s and Del Toro’s characters. In this film we have a young girl, a kid for the -napping, who has to deal with cold, indifferent company man and the damaged assassin. Isabela Moner plays Isabel Reyes, the daughter of the kingpin. I’d never noticed her before, but she’s about to play Dora in the live-action Dora the Explorer so I guess we’ll all see. I thought she occasionally tried too hard to be the tough girl, but her performance was acceptable. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s back in a couple years for Sicario 3, playing Reyes again, older and tougher.

HOWE: I remember the fist Sicario film. We both liked it. It was gritty.

TAYLOR: I remember the things that bugged me about the first film, long shots of nothing, staring at a sunset, more the choices of the director, the pace. This film has a style not dissimilar, but for some reason I didn’t find it dragging. It’s not that Day of the Soldado is a better, faster, more interesting film than the original, more likely that my particular preferences were more well met. Both films are about the blurry lines created when people do this kind of work. That’s probably the most intriguing part of these Sicario pictures, it’s about the job, the life. This isn’t John Wick. This is the world.

Taylor gives Sicario: Day of the Soldado 3.5 satellite phones out of 5.

Howe will be back next week.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Boil water notice lifted for Falkland

The boil water notice for the Falkland Water System has been rescinded

Former VP of lululemon joins True Leaf

Kerry Biggs will be the Chief Financial Officer of True Leaf, in Lumby

RCMP arrest suspected thief in Vernon

Man allegedly stole from vehicle in Okanagan Landing Road area Sept. 20

Vernon attempted murder suspect denies legal aid

Tyson Cole said he will seek representation on his own

Dancing with the Vernon Stars returns Friday

Ten couples are competing on Sept. 21 to raise funds and awareness for NOHS

Vernon “Stuff the Truck” for H.O.P.E. a success

With a growing homeless population, Dina Niskakoski wanted to make an positive impact.

‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in B.C. city

Raptor expert says he’s never seen it happen anywhere in the Lower Mainland

Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The federal Fisheries Minister says it’s a ‘critical issue’

GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants ‘fairness’

Kavanaugh has denied al allegations of sexual misconduct

Vernon lawn bowling fundraises boosts food society

Lawn Days of Summer at Vernon Lawn Bowling Club raises $3,215 for Food Action Society of N.O.

Tent city campers now allowed to stay in B.C. provincial park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no deadline for campers to leave Greater Victoria camp site

Bus company vies to replace Greyhound in Kamloops to Vancouver, Kelowna

Alberta-based Ebus applies to the Passenger Transportation Board to replace Greyhound

Summerland retrofits its streetlights

Conversion to LED streetlights expected to save more than $72,000 a year

Could cannabis help keep people in B.C. on treatment for opioid addiction?

People on opioid agonist treatment face lower risks of overdosing, BC Centre on Substance Use says

Most Read