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Review Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018): It pains me to say this but the original is better!

genre: crime, action, drama

You might be wondering why it would be so hard to say for me that the original is better. Well, I wasn't a big fan of the original. I didn't think it was bad or anything. However it surely wasn't the masterpiece or eye opener people claiming it to be. I mean even you tried to avoid documentaries and reading newspapers you have so many books and films covering the drug trade that it almost becomes impossible to not know a thing or two about it. But perhaps I have overestimated people's curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Anyway, Sicario as an action thriller did deliver some good moments. As I had understood it from reviews about Sicario: Day of the Soldado would be more action orientated. I was completely on board with that.

A good action film is always welcome. Especially one with good actors like Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro. I also thought that this film would make up for underusing Benicio in the original and now would be give a more prominent role. I was wrong. If anything they completely screwed him over. At least in the original he came across as death himself. Now he was just a simple man who apparently has been quite lucky all the time. I actually liked how his character was portrayed as a human being with a conscience. Only they overdid it. Whereas Alejandro from the original was efficient and ruthless the Alejandro now is stupid and weak. But that is not del Toro's fault. It's the plot and direction that let's him down. He has not been given the importance or magnitude he should have been given. It's perfectly fine for him to be compassionate. But to then completely make him so careless and less dangerous? It's like director Stefano Sollima doesn't really know the character. 

What can I say about the plot. I won't spoil it but it can be summed up in two or three sentences. It's one that could have been full of twists, turns and drama. But no. They opted for a supposed realistic film with very little realism in it. It is asked of you to roll with it. Which I was doing since it did look like it was leading to something. Only it didn't. Well, apart from me getting mad and immediately writing this review. The biggest problem of the film is that it borrows plot lines from several other films like Man on Fire and Clear and Present Danger but then does nothing substantial with them. Had they gone the full Man on Fire or Taken route I would have been down with it wholeheartedly. Actually they made it seem that Alejandro finally was going to get the revenge he wanted. Isabela Moner plays a girl you car and want to root for. She is immensely likeable and far from the rich brats you usually see. So yes, that does bring some kind of tension. If only they didn't undermine themselves by dropping the very little plot they had. I mean seriously. It was like they forgot all about it. If they would have gone for the full political thriller treatment I would have accepted that as well. Maybe not agree with it but at least it would have had some depth. 

Now it's one big and giant empty mess with no to little resolve. The ending is a joke. Shocking? It would have been had they not undermined themselves with the lack of plot and substance to back it up. American Me featured a similar plot line but where they actually showed you the way of life from start to finish but also showed you why it was so difficult and hard to escape that life. Here they couldn't even be bothered. You have a random insignificant dude suddenly becoming a little significant because of one assertive but stupid action on his part. Maybe I would have cared had they shown who that guy was and where he was coming from. I can't believe they are serious thinking about making a third Sicario. I mean why? This film was so low on plot and character development as it is. And it's not like there is that much action to be enjoyed. I simply fail to see what more they would want to do with this. 

Avoid this. It's all pretension and promise without delivering anything. Why would you want to waste you precious time like I just did. 

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