Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Directed by Stefano Sollima
The border war gets superheated.
Unless you’ve seen the original Sicario, it’s hard to explain “just how misguided this follow-up is,” said William Bibbiani in TheWrap.com. “That some of the film’s set pieces are incredibly suspenseful is not a compliment”—not when the action obscures how backward the movie’s politics are: It celebrates the same War on Drugs combatants that the 2015 original judged monstrous, and then goes further, suggesting that such ruthless men are our best defense against Islamic suicide bombers pouring in across the U.S.-Mexico border. Day of the Soldado “seems to go out of its way to alienate the very folks who made the first film a hit,” said Scott Mendelson in Forbes.com. Emily Blunt and the FBI agent she played are gone, leaving the returning male stars free to help demonize outsiders, handing President Trump a propaganda coup. Josh Brolin at least seems to enjoy portraying a shady CIA operative, while Benicio del Toro remains “one of the great presences of our age,” said Darren Franich in Entertainment Weekly. Playing an assassin recruited to do America’s dirty work, he delivers the movie’s best moments, and “his quiet toughness makes this pulp feel like poetry.” ■