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Movie Review – Sicario 2: Soldado

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I watched the first Sicario (for the first time) the night before the sequel came out, so I have a fresh perspective on comparing them.

Simply put, the sequel isn’t quite as good as the original.

While the first Sicario is a really good movie, it isn’t without its flaws. Nevertheless, I would give it at least a B+, maybe an A-.

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The cinematography of the first Sicario is spectacular. Numerous times I replayed a scene just to see how beautifully it was shot. But I didn’t notice any shots like that in Sicario 2.

No one is going to complain about the acting. Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are both wonderful. I’d give a nod to Toro as giving the better performance, but his character has a lot more to work with. So it’s hardly a fair comparison.

I have to mention that Isabela Moner (who played the young kidnapped girl) is outstanding. She expresses a range of emotions, and her character evolves dramatically over a short period of time. She expressed rage and remorse equally well. So well in fact, that I don’t ever recollect questioning her performance during the movie. It just felt real.

It’s worth mentioning that the movie starts with a very uncomfortable terrorist scene, then later a character who plays a US official defines terrorism: any individual, or group, who acts to bring about political change through violence. The quote is delivered and then forgotten, but it feels like the storytellers were making a subtle hint that the American forces were the terrorists in this tale. After reading a half dozen reviews, none of them commented on the topic. I’d be curious if that’s just me, or did anyone else notice it?

Grade: B-

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Heads up:
You can watch this movie without having seen the first Sicario. The plots have no relationship to each other. But the characters do build on what we learned about them.

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6 responses to “Movie Review – Sicario 2: Soldado”

  1. Is this a violent or sad film? Is there any humor?

  2. Violent? Ummmm, yeah. Pretty much. It’s rated R for a reason. 🙂

    There were some touching moments, but I wouldn’t call it a “sad” movie.

    1. R doesn’t necessarily mean violence. It also covers language, mature themes, and sexuality. But okay. I guess I was asking is if it is that kind of hyper-violence we see lately. Or excessively gory. Does it use discretionary shots? Does it glorify violence?

      Something like Deadpool, which leavens the story with a ton of humor, works well for me.

      I remember loving the tv show Xena. He sword was in constant use but never got bloody. If it did, I probably would not have liked it. I get those images stuck in my head and can’t shake them loose. There are still some movies from decades ago that damage my calm. 😉

  3. Jason Avatar

    I saw the quote as interesting too. Why are we doing a vocabulary lesson in the secdef’s office but he was looking for a way to get at the cartels and that was it. However, that definition was not far from the truth.
    “Terrorism- the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”

    The only parts I think they left out we’re “unlawful” and “against civilians”. In History, other radical groups (neo-Nazis, freemen, Black panthers, to name a few) have tried to suggest that their attacks or actions were predicated on the notion that they were in combat against the US and to be treated like POWS. But those claims were not recognized because the targets that those groups attacked were civilian in nature (banks, post offices, etc) and this they were considered terrorists or armed robbers. It wouldn’t have worked out any better if the govt had recognized them as POWs because they were US citizens and would have been held as traitors.
    Now, we have seen a redefinition of numerous terms in the past 40-50 years. I’d like to see a definition of terrorism from the 80s, 60s, 30s or the 1910s or better yet, get a hold of an original copy Noah Webster’s dictionary from 1806 and see how he defined it then. Just a thought.

    1. Hey Jason, thanks for the thoughtful response. Wait, someone on the Internet wrote a thoughtful response? I need to blog that! 🙂

      I’m not sure the current, or any, US administration looks up the definition of terrorism, but they have all committed it. Sort of like the definition of a “hero” or a “traitor” depends on which side of the conflict you’re on.

  4. This is a good discussion. I think a lot of administrations rely more on rhetoric, and appeals to emotion, than logic, or even common sense.

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