Sicario: Day of the Soldado review round-up — Sequel to 2015 hit marred with 'darkness without purpose'

FP Staff

Jun,21 2018 14:05:49 IST

Benicio Del Toro and Jeff Brolin are back in Sicario: Day of the Soldado, a sequel to Denis Villeneuve's 2015 sleeper hit Sicario. In the sequel helmed by Stefano Sollima of Suburra-fame, Del Toro, who plays Alejandro Gillick, is hired again by CIA operative Matt Graver (Brolin) to incite war between rival cartels by kidnapping the Isabela Reyes, daughter (Isabela Moner) of drug lord Carlos Reyes. The mission goes awry and Graver orders Gillick to kill Isabela. Gillick refuses and finds himself in a new mission to protect the girl.

Villeneuve, who directed the predecessor, gave the film a rave review, calling it an 'impressive, powerful, masterful follow-up' according to IndieWireRotten Tomatoes has given this sequel 64 percent average rating.

Benicio del Toro (L) and Josh Brolin in Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Benicio del Toro (L) and Josh Brolin in Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Variety wrote, "Soldado may not be as masterful as Villeneuve’s original but it sets up a world of possibilities for elaborating on a complex conflict far too rich to be resolved in two hours’ time."

The Collider is of a similar view, 'The sequel is able to replicate the bleakness of the original but never builds it into anything more. The story, while unpredictable, lacks focus, drowning us in a sea of amorality until characters start making moves that don’t jive with their previous behavior. In some ways, Day of the Soldado is darker than Sicario, but it’s darkness without purpose." The review also mentioned that the film needed a character like Emily Blunt's Kate Mercer to 'to help navigate the chaos created by Matt and Alejandro.'

Calling Sicario 'a somewhat remarkable thriller', The Wrap was brutally critical of the sequel: "Day of the Soldado strips away the meaning and the hypnotic visual style from the original, and reveals that there’s not much more underneath. It’s a macho thriller with ham-fisted sequel teases and a heavy dose of misguided pretension. That some of the film’s set pieces are incredibly suspenseful is not a compliment. They only serve to disguise just how misguided this follow-up is. Day of the Soldado reduces real suffering to the backdrop in order to foreground how slick and alluring those who afflict all that pain can look."

However, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film "emerges as a dynamic action drama in its own right" and added that it "digs in its dramatic claws from the outset and keeps the tension high and dramatic twists coming in ways that should spark a solid commercial life."

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, produced by Black Label Media, will hit theatres on 29 June.

 

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 14:20 PM