Sicario 2: Soldado (Film Review) – A Worthy, Brutal Sequel

Sicario 2: Soldado is a crime thriller directed by Stefano Sollima with Taylor Sheridan being the screenwriter for this film as he was for Sicario. Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Donovan reprise their roles from Sicario with Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Catherine Keener and Isabela Moner joining the cast.

The story of Sicario 2: Soldado is set at the United States/Mexico border and focuses on the drug war in these two countries. This war has intensified to such a brutal point that the drug cartels have started to smuggle terrorists across the border. This forces the CIA to enlist Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro) to end this threat to national security.

My Expectation For Sicario 2: Soldado

Sicario was one of the best films I saw in 2015. It was a powerful film that was criminally robbed of several Oscar nominations in categories such as Best Supporting Actor for Benicio del Toro and Best Picture. Moreover, a strong argument exists for Sicario to have won Best Picture over Spotlight, let alone just being nominated.

Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick in Sicario 2 Soldado

As you can imagine, when I found out that a sequel to Sicario was being made, I was ecstatic. While I would have loved for Denis Villeneuve to come back as director, having Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro come back to play their characters as well as having Taylor Sheridan return to write the script was good enough.

I was intrigued to see what Stefano Sollima would bring from a directorial perspective in addition to seeing how Sicario 2: Soldado would expand on what Sicario established when it came to its characters, themes and story. It would be unfair for me to expect that Sicario 2: Soldado would be better than Sicario. Instead, all I wanted was this film to be a good sequel to Sicario. If this film got anywhere to the quality of Sicario, I would be shocked in the best possible way.

My Thoughts On Sicario 2: Soldado

While Sicario 2: Soldado is, as I believed it would be, not on the same level of quality as Sicario, it is still a very good film and a worthy sequel to the original. The biggest compliment I can give to Sicario 2: Soldado is how well it kept the feel, look, suspense and tone of the first film while also dealing with the same themes in a compelling way.

Isabela Moner as Isabela Reyes and Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick in Sicario 2 Soldado

Right from its brutal opening, you are engaged with the story being told where themes such as morality, criminality and terrorism are at the forefront of a film where the performances given by the cast are just as stellar as they were in the first. Again, Benicio del Toro steals the entire film and his character’s relationship with Isabela Reyes (Isabela Moner) was something I really enjoyed.

Clearly, it evoked other films with similar character relationships such as Man on Fire and Logan and I really liked how the relationship between Alejandro and Isabela was portrayed in Sicario 2: Soldado. The dynamic between Benecio del Toro and Josh Brolin was as strong as it was in Sicario and I hope any sequel to Sicario 2: Soldado involves both of these actors. Certainly, a Sicario 3 is absolutely set up in the third act of this film.

Sadly, the third act is also where the film falls short when compared to the original. Indeed, Sicario 2: Soldado loses a bit of steam in its third act when compared to the first two acts. It is also not as powerful as the third act of Sicario. Still, I am absolutely keen to see a third film in this franchise, especially if it ties the first two together. If you loved Sicario, I am confident you will like Sicario 2: Soldado and be interested in a potential Sicario 3.

Sicario 2 Soldado Film Review Pin