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Sicario: Day Of The Soldado  : Migrants’ Night Out
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Friday, July 6, 2018
Stefano Sollima
Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan

When it’s the illegal smuggling of human beings across the US-Mexico border, the topic itself has a sense of foreboding. It was cocaine 20 years ago, it’s now people coming in truckloads across the line. It’s a full-scale cartel in operation. “They’re sheep, treat them like it,” is what a new recruit to the cartel is told when his first assignment is to shepherd a busload of weather-beaten cross-over people.


Like it is with all illegal migrants, the crime rate shoots up in America, especially fanatical terror activities. Suicide bombers muttering prayers before pressing the dreaded button give the opening scenes a feeling of dread which persists for the next two hours.


Special operative Matt Graven (Josh Brolin)is given a no-questions-asked assignment right from the top to go all out, get dirty and give priority to national security. Graven iscold-blooded and emotionless. He has his own way of eliciting information from a criminal he picks up after a ruthless and rapid raid where the body-count doesn’t matter. ‘You’re an American, you have rules,’ says the Somalian he’s interrogating. You gotta be kidding, is the unsaid reply as Graven gets his information violently without even without touching a hair on the man’s head.


The plot Graven comes up with is devious and different intended to set off a war between the main cartels of Mexico. Kidnap the daughter of one mob, blame it on the other and watch them mess with each while the American government comes off as a non-playing bystander. Graven taps his old asset Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) who’s got enough reason to get even with one cartel leader to do the kidnap.


But plots rarely follow a script.


There’s mayhem across the border when Mexican cops get wiped out in an encounter and the US government would rather shut down Graven’s operation than be caught red-faced.


Caught between Graven and Alejandro and the cross-border mess is Isabel, the spirited young schoolgirl they’ve nabbed. Alongside is the rise of Miguel, a young Sicario or hired killer. Enough doors left open for one more of the Sicario franchise.


Verdict: Director Stefano Sollima’s bloody crime thriller is gritty, dusty, dirty, as it’s intended to be. But it’s not a nail-biting thrill and is recommended only for those who like action and crime fiction.


For an averagely interesting watch, Sicario: Day Of The Soldado gets a 2.5* rating.  


Direction: 3/5
Screenplay: 3/5

Story: 3/5
Dialogues: 2/5
Music: 2.5/5


Reviewed by

Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author
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