“Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” which opened this weekend nationwide is the follow up to the 2015 film “Sicario.” The original starred Emily Blunt as an idealistic FBI agent caught up in a bloody albeit complicated situation at the Mexican border. Blunt decided she didn’t want to return for the second installment, and with good reason. On top of being just a generally terrible movie, the new “Sicario” is one of the worst-timed offerings of 2018.
Premiering on a weekend when protesters across the country are decrying Trump’s handling of the border crisis, this is a film that relies heavily on every negative border stereotype Fox News could imagine. If Hollywood were collectively serious about actually making a difference in the immigration debate, instead of just raising awareness or throwing money at it, it wouldn’t put out movies like this.
In the first film, Blunt’s character gets hired by Matt (Josh Brolin) and his partner Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) in order to provide cover for semi-illegal tactics taking down Mexican drug cartels. Without Blunt, the focus shifts to Brolin’s character Matt, who seeks out Alejandro in his retirement in Colombia for one last mission. In the first film, Alejandro was taking down the drug cartels to get revenge for what happened to his wife. Now, under Matt’s orders, he gets to kidnap the daughter of the head of the very cartel who slaughtered his family.
What follows is the stereotypical abductor/abductee Stockholm syndrome scenario in which Del Toro and the girl eventually become close. It’s all been done before, in dozens of films far better than this one. But outside of its main story, the film is full of unnecessary and offensive details that should have given at least one studio executive pause.