Sicario, an unflinching look at the war between the U.S. and Mexican drug cartels, was one of 2015’s best films. That said, it did not seem like a film that lent itself to a sequel, but a sequel was made with Sicario: Day of the Soldado. Sadly, it falls well short of its predecessor.
The star of the original film, Emily Blunt, is absent from the proceedings here. Instead, the new film focuses on the win-at-all-costs CIA operative (Josh Brolin) and his shadowy assassin (Benicio del Toro). After many Americans are killed in a terrorist attack on a Target-type store, a link is made between the terrorists and Mexican drug cartels. So, Brolin and Del Toro are given latitude to be even more ruthless with the cartels.
Brolin and Del Toro kidnap the daughter (Isabela Moner) of a cartel leader and things go downhill from there. Brolin and Del Toro both give good performances, as they did in the original. But director Stefano Sollima’s film loses its nerve in its second hour. It seems like the characters are in an impossible situation, but then it turns more into an ordinary action movie. It adds nothing to the themes explored in the original and leaves viewers with a shrug.