<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Stefano Sollima. Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Catherine Keener, Matthew Modine

Running time: 2 hours


I remember the first Sicario being very intense. But I wasn’t sure if I liked it till I went back my review. I said it was one of the best films of the year and gave it five stars (Read it here). The sequel is almost as intense and also very relevant to current events.

Would Donald Trump be happy with this film? Maybe. Initially it does paint Mexican immigrants as terrorists (or are they?). But by the end of the film we find out that the American and the Mexican governments and armed forces are not particularly squeaky clean.


Apparently the makers of this film didn’t want to bring back Emily Blunt’s character from the first film, as they didn’t want her to be the movie’s moral compass. The audience doesn’t need one, they say. I think that’s true. Nowadays there are a lot more greys than black or whites.

In an attempt to stop the Mexican drug cartels from ferrying migrants to the US, the Secretary of Defense (Matthew Modine) calls upon the guy who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), to orchestrate a kidnapping of drug lord Carlos Reyes’s daughter Isabel (Isabela Moner) and make it look like a rival cartel has done the deed. That way they’d fight amongst themselves instead of the Americans having to wipe them out. But, like many American military undertakings, the bravado doesn’t have the backing of sound intelligence and incisive thinking.


Matt’s wartime buddy Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) whose family was killed by Carlos Reyes and so he enlists him to assist in the operation that goes sour very soon after her capture leaving Alejandro and Isabel to fend for themselves amid a political and military mess.

There are no real good guys in Sicario: Day of the Solidado (Sicario means ‘hit man’ and Solidado means ‘soldier’). Which is kind of fun. What it also shows us is that the enemy can come from abroad or at home. And that the migrant crisis that is the cause of so much turmoil in America right now is a real problem that needs real solutions. Immigration rules are standard all over the world for good reason. This doesn’t mean shutting anyone out. Because if things go on the way they are, human trafficking and suffering will only continue. How it is rectified, now that is the issue that divides the US.


There is a wonderful scene in the film where Del Toro’s Alejandro is signing to a deaf and dumb man who he wants help from. It brings a tear to your eye and tells you so much about the characters. And that’s the beauty of it all, the fact that the silences and the actions speak much louder than words. Del Toro and Moner are standouts, while Brolin loses some of his power in this one. And there’s a parallel storyline with a twist that shows us the other side of this conflict and how it affects young Americans as well.

Sicario: Day of the Solidado is the perfect antidote to the viewer tired of 3D films with superheroes and too much CGI.


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