SICARIO 2: SOLDADO (aka SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO)(15)
D: Stefano Sollima
Columbia/Lionsgate/Black Label Media (Basil Iwanyk, Edward L. McDonnell, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill & Trent Luckinbill)
W: Taylor Sheridan
DP: Dariusz Wolski
Ed: Matthew Newman
Mus: Hildur Gudnadóttir
Benicio Del Toro (Alejandro Gillick), Josh Brolin (Matt Graver), Isabela Moner (Isabela Reyes), Jeffrey Donovan (Steve Forsing), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Gallo), Catherine Keener (Cynthia Foards), Matthew Modine (Secretary of Defence James Riley)
For me, Sicario was amongst the best films of 2015, and although a sequel wasn't necessary, plans for a third part to a trilogy are very much in the works.
The set up is still the same, focusing on Mexican drug cartels operating close to the US border, but this sequel also includes the addition of Islamic terrorism, with the plot focusing on the possibility that daesh suicide bombers are smuggling into the United States via Mexico. Government agent Matt Graver (Brolin) and hitman Alejandro Gillick (Del Toro) are tasked to go into the hostile territory to manipulate a war between rival cartels, the theory being that one large cartel would be easier to control than several smaller ones.
This thriller may take a right-leaning stance, mixing together a collection of Donald Trump's worst nightmares, but politics aside, it had plenty of action, suspense and tension to keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot does miss Emily Blunt's character as the neutral bystander amongst all the chaos, and though the director and his crew try to emulate the visuals of the original film, it isn't quite as polished in the overall look and the pacing at times can be rather slow, as multiple story threads become intertwined.
Aside from a ridiculously needless moment in the final act, this isn't a bad sequel at all, although it could easily have been made as a standalone film with no connection at all to the original movie. For me, it rubber-stamps Taylor Sheridan as one of the best screenwriters working in Hollywood in current times.