Sicario 2: Sol­dado

The Heat is On

Real Crime - - Home Invasion - Kather­ine McLaughlin

URe­leased out now Direc­tor Ste­fano Sol­lima Distributor Lion­s­gate

S pol­icy on bor­der con­trol and im­mi­gra­tion has reached new depths of de­prav­ity in re­cent times, with ICE’s en­force­ment ac­tions de­liv­er­ing a plethora of con­stantly shock­ing head­lines world­wide. The sec­ond film in the Sicario fran­chise, writ­ten by Tay­lor Sheridan, fo­cuses on the smug­gling of hu­man be­ings into the USA rather than drugs. It por­trays the USA’s bull- headed, dirty tac­tics on for­eign soil and at home with a bru­tal in­ten­sity that doesn’t shy away from the vi­o­lence.

Direc­tor Ste­fano Sol­lima has form deal­ing with gangs of ag­gres­sive men. His pre­vi­ous fea­ture, Suburra, dealt with the Ital­ian mob, as did the TV se­ries Go­mor­rah, which he had a hand in creat­ing. The pre­vi­ous film, di­rected by De­nis Vil­leneuve, placed a fe­male FBI agent ( Emily Blunt) in the mid­dle of a cor­rupt pair of al­lies – a CIA agent, played by Josh Brolin, and a lawyer turned gun- for- hire ( Benecio Del Toro). Blunt’s role served to con­tin­u­ally ques­tion their shady be­hav­iour, and yet in this film Sol­lima de­cides to drop the moral com­pass and her char­ac­ter in favour of the two men work­ing to­gether on a sep­a­rate cam­paign of ter­ror aimed against the Mex­i­can car­tels.

The film opens as a group of peo­ple are caught at­tempt­ing to cross the bor­der to the US. A lone man lets off an ex­plo­sive de­vice, and a se­ries of sui­cide bomb­ings in the USA plays out in quick suc­ces­sion. This gives the gov­ern­ment free reign to de­clare the car­tels ter­ror­ists and set in ac­tion a plan to kid­nap the teenage daugh­ter of a boss and use her to ma­nip­u­late a war be­tween them.

Though there’s hardly any nu­ance in the way the char­ac­ters in­ter­act in this se­quel, with Sheridan dou­bling down on ab­surd machismo di­a­logue, it does have a strong han­dle on its theme of de­hu­man­i­sa­tion. That one of its char­ac­ters sud­denly de­vel­ops a con­science amid all the ter­ri­ble deeds is less be­liev­able. With the fi­nal third com­pletely swerv­ing off course to squeeze in the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other in­stal­ment in the fran­chise, all se­ri­ous en­gage­ment is sadly com­pro­mised.

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