Day 189 – Sicario: Day of the Soldado

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Movie Title: Sicario: Day of the Soldado

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 2 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Regal Stadium 12 – Swansea, MA

Review:

Sicario: Day of the Soldado reunites Josh Brolin and Benecio del Toro as amoral CIA agents working along the Mexican border. Sicario was a straight forward movie that had a clear focus and allowed Brolin and del Toro to chew the scenery and be, in general, badass. Its sequel lacks focus and does not maintain the same allure as the original.

It starts simply enough. A terrorist attack takes place in Kansas City, Missouri and the terror suspects reached the United States by crossing the Mexican border. I have big problems with this which are detailed below. Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Steve Forsing (Jeffrey Donovan) are called in to find out where the terrorists came from and to do something about it. Secretary of Defense James Riley reclassifies the Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and gives Graver free reign to do what he wants. He decides to recruit his old pal Alejandro (Benecio del Toro) to try and start a war between the drug cartels. The group kidnaps Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner) the daughter of a notorious drug cartel honcho and intend to plant her with a rival cartel. Things don’t go smoothly though and the government loses its will to act causing factions to emerge in the group.

Simultaneously, the story of a lower middle class Mexican-American middle school student named Miguel (Elijah Rodriguez) gets into the people smuggling game with the help of his cousin. Miguel’s coyote motivations are unclear aside from the money and he plays a very straight faced and emotionless character. Miguel’s character is a difficult pill to swallow and his choices tend to make little sense. The paths of those working to smuggle people and drugs across the border quickly crosses paths with that of those trying to prevent it. It is an unwieldy plot that flows pretty poorly as characters make illogical leaps or learn improbable information over short periods of time. At other times the movie runs at real time and abandons movie time only to go back to fictional movie time later. It is a very fuzzy plot device that the director tried to use, but it is just annoying.

The issue of terrorists crossing the border bothers me because by putting it in main stream media it gets people to believe it is true and that it is common. There have been practically no concrete terrorist threats connected to illegal crossings at the Mexican border. The movie helps perpetuate the myth of a terrorist riddled border that started during the Bush administration and has become even more pervasive since then. It needs to stop.

Verdict:

Sicario: Day of the Soldado lacks the simplistic style and action of the original in favor of a more lanky plot that doesn’t work nearly as well. Skip it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

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