The English translation of Sicario is: hitman. The movie translation of Sicario: Day of the Soldado is: outlaw adventure centred on the US / Mexico border. Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) and Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) are back from the first film and it’s another trip down the dark rabbit hole of US and Mexican border politics.
When the US government decides to treat the Cartels that run the Mexican underworld as domestic terrorists, they hatch a plan to create chaos by starting a war between rivals overlords. In steps Alejandro and Matt as the government bad asses to get the job done.
A usual with these things, not all goes according to plan and as the problems escalate, the film loses a bit of focus. There is a kidnapping and then a moment of morality that changes the outcome for everyone. Things don’t really coalesce until the end of the last reel.
Border politics between the two neighbouring nations has always been a murky affair and Sicario: Day of the Soldado does its best to reflect that. With an ominous film score that is consistently unsettling and the changing dynamics of US policy in the film and world at large, things are on edge throughout. It’s a dark journey but one worth taking.