Clearly, Mexican crime coming into the United States is a huge (or should I say, “YUGE”) problem… so much so our own president wants a wall to shut them away. Now, the three-time Oscar nominee’s sequel continues influencing a strong outlook about the controversial subject in the form of an escapist action flick that pits Americans against the Mexican Border.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado ultimately thinks thievery aids people better than the Trump Administration, yet because nobody ever resembles realistic human beings, any intentional influence fails. For example: Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) takes off his mask on a public street right before riddling a victim two-bullets-per-second under broad daylight, then later, he reveals his convenient knowledge of sign language when he by chance meets a deaf guy. Such on-the-spot improvised personality traits do not feel natural or earned, just to serve whatever’s plot convenient. Plus, screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water, Sicario) introduces and revisits subplots at random without enough drama built up. With such messiness in a generic script, how can I see it as persuasive in any form?
Forget seeing any woman empowerment either in this massive step down from the first movie, for its gun worship replaces Emily Blunt’s presence, moving our attention instead on empty, forgetful gunfire sequences. For the weak women that are seen in this sequel, Maybe some extra work towards the on-the-nose dialogue could’ve made them somewhat tolerable to watch, not either victimized or an irksome moral hindrance. The significant female role, teenager Isabel, just spectates bland action as a companion to the true male protagonist without a consistent arc; she first appears fist-fighting a fellow private school student, a trait lost past her introduction. If Isabel was alternatively more goody-two-shoes, her arc would had been improved since she utilizes the cliché emotional high point of cutting her hair, like Mulan. Nonetheless, she cuts her hair not to fight alongside the bad boys but continue to be unimportant.
The great emotional distance concerns the men too, the lead hitmen are to freedom of Second Amendment Rights what steroid-jacked dudes are to fitness gym ads. They even become legitimate kidnappers we’re expected to cheer on—if a real assassin took a kidnap victim, despite his good intentions, it’d be unacceptable. Remind me again whom the real criminal here is?
No politicians seen act redeemable either, the Secretary of State becomes one major supporting player who contributes nothing story wise besides giving the hitmen greater convenience of their mission. Though ultimately, his stupidity makes the filmmakers’ perspective of the Pentagon appear incompetent compared to a badass Puerto Rican who spurts out cool murderous catchphrases.
At least Benicio Del Toro plays this “badass Puerto Rican” well, especially during the bright shining scene previously mentioned where he earns the deaf peasant’s respect. His vengeful semi-dead walk also deserves attention.
Beyond Del Toro, the picture’s mood swings create cinematic power to gritty, realistic manifestation. Director Stefano Sollima creates tangible rustic imagery as his visual range includes an aerial symmetrical cold desert road shot thru gunman’s territory until the hot sun blows away leftover chill. His smaller creative techniques make you glance out a car through dense dust clouds, unnerving those inside, yourself included. Then at night, your eyes jolt as helicopter spotlights are staged to stop smugglers. Subtle pieces of Italian mob imagery are implemented to paint the activity down south, particularly when focused on one Mexican boy who is negatively influenced by his cousin, a representation of how today’s youth can get caught up with mob gangs. Then the spoken elements come together as the last image pays tribute to The Godfather.
The strong screen direction goes deeper than mere big scale—the dramatization of a Kansas City department store bombing particularly shocks you. For character exposition, the camera first introduces Matt Graver’s (Josh Brolin) crocs before it pans up to the extra facial hair on his face, which suggests age progression of the ruthless mercenary walking in a comfortable anti-fashion.
Except I’d hardly say the listed good qualities deserve opportune investment, because its glamorized bloodshed says we can stop violent immigrants… using violence. Yes, these hypothetical heroes’ callous murders throw dusk onto an Unforgiven quote: “It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.” Unlike Sicario: Day of the Soldado’s pictorial sermon, understand that proper victory never goes to a sociopath. Only love, kindness, and humility can save your anger.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
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“SICARIO DAY OF THE SOLDADO TRAILER.” Digital image. Teaser-Trailer.com. 20 Mar 2018. Web. <https://teaser-trailer.com/sicario-day-of-the-soldado-trailer/>.
“Sicario: Day of the Soldado.” IMDb. Amazon. Web. <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5052474/?pf_rd_m=A2FGELUUNOQJNL&pf_rd_p=2413b25e-e3f6-4229-9efd-599bb9ab1f97&pf_rd_r=7F1ZGY1N0ZBCQYCMJ6TZ&pf_rd_s=right-2&pf_rd_t=15061&pf_rd_i=homepage&ref_=hm_otw_t0>.
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“soldado.” Merriam-Webster. Web. <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soldado>.