Geek Review – Sicario: Day of the Soldado

In the movie world, not many labels carry the same stigma as the word “sequel”. As one has seen with many movie franchises, the original movie is excellent but the sequel, or sequels, have a tendency to be more in the “meh” category.

Some, like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, surprise us, but more often than not, we get terrible sequels to the likes of Ghostbusters, The Matrix, and Taken.

In Sicario: Day of the Soldado, sequel to the breakout hit, Sicario by auteur Denis Villeneuve, the drug cartels in Mexico are used by terrorist organisations to smuggle terrorists into the USA. The US president responds by putting the drug cartels on the list of terrorist organisations, and tasks the CIA with disrupting their operations. Enter agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), who we know from the first movie. Graver immediately gets in touch with his asset, Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) and comes up with a plan to take the fight to the cartels in a way that can’t be traced back to the US.

Gone are Emily Blunt and Victor Garber, and while their return to this would seem forced, their absence are felt. Newcomers Elijah Rodriguez, Matthew Modine and Ian Bohen have big shoes to fill, and it’s not their fault that the writing doesn’t do this sequel justice from the get-go. Without spoiling the movie experience with too much information, it suffices to say that things soon take an unexpected turn for the worse, and CIA forces Graver to literally wipe the slate clean.

As with the original, Day of the Soldado is quite graphic in its way of portraying the violence. The sounds of the firefights are not painfully loud, but loud enough to make the audience feel that they are sitting smack in the middle of the frenzied action.

However, all is not good with this movie, which tries hard to ape the first. A lot of it is due to the fact that Villeneuve opted to not direct this, leaving it to Stefano Sollima to handle the reins. A huge issue with this sequel, other than it being unnecessary, is that it lacks a bit in the way of plot line.

The plan they come up with to disrupt cartel operations is very briefly explained, and comes across as a very simple way to take the characters from point A to point B. However, the movie does manage to go deeper into the development of the characters. Some of this development will be a bit surprising, but the way the movie ends does seem to promise another sequel.

The film certainly unfolds itself to lead to another sequel, but seeing as how this was executed, the question remains if Villeneuve is returning to the director’s chair because if he didn’t, then the series should stop here, and now.



Sicario: Day of the Soldado isn’t as exciting as the first movie, but makes up for it in the character development and potential for an even better third movie.

  • Story - 6/10
  • Direction - 8/10
  • Characterisation - 8/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 6/10
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