Monday, July 9, 2018

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

There are certain films that you should only take your bros to see with you and then there are other films that you’re probably better off seeing by yourself. I say this because one random Saturday afternoon my idiot friend and I went to see a very French and unbelievably sad film in Mood Indigo. And afterwards we were both so distraught that we had to spend the rest of the day power drinking just to keep ourselves from throwing one another off of the University of Texas Tower. That film leaves you with absolutely no will to live; so naturally I couldn’t wait to see it again but this time in the comfort of my own home and at a time when I was unbelievably happy. It’s such a great film.

And then there was the time this girl convinced me to see the super artsy flick Antichrist with her for our first date. The opening scene is a baby jumping off of a ledge to its gruesome death; now that alone should have been a clue for us to walk out but no, like idiots we decided to stay. And sadly things didn’t get any better as the rest of the film spent its time focusing on a couple who was literally trying to kill one another in the woods while dealing with their grief. Now combine that with the fact that there was a talking, rabid dog and a deer that gave birth to a baby doe while running from Willem Dafoe (I mean it literally fell out of her while running), it’s safe to say that there was no sex for me that night. I instead went home and booked an appointment for a vasectomy while watching The Golden Girls; anything to keep me from wanting to reproduce or even engaging in the act.

The point of all of this is that Sicario 2 somehow fits into both of these categories. This film is a dark and realistic look into the C.I.A. and the twisted agendas of our country’s government; basically the perfect film for our Independence Day. Happy Fourth everyone! If you were a fan of the first, you will more than likely be down with the sequel however if you just thought part one was sort of eh, then you will absolutely hate Saldado.

This films starts off with a series of suicide bombings, one of which takes place in Mexico just outside of the Texas border and another that takes place in Kansas City (or some random town in the Midwest). The government believes that terrorist organizations are getting smarter and are now no longer attempting to fly into the county. They are instead bribing Mexican Cartels to sneak them in illegally through the southern U.S. border in a new form of human trafficking.

So they reach out to their Cartel expert in C.I.A. operative Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to come in and get to the heart of problem. And after doing what he does best, Graver finds which Cartel is most likely behind these recent events and reaches out to everyone’s favorite tortured father in Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to help him take them down. Their plan is to start a war amongst the Cartels so that in the midst of killing one another, they’ll no longer have the bandwidth or resources to continue to help terrorist organizations sneak into our country.

In order to get the fireworks under way, so to speak, the C.I.A. behind Alejandro’s lead, kidnaps the daughter of one of the cartel’s leaders under the guise of a rival Cartel. Their plan is to then "rescue" her from the rival cartel and return her to the safety of her father. Well seeing as how this is Mexico and there is corruption at seemingly every level of government and public service, things go horribly wrong and now not only does the operation itself risk being exposed but the girl’s life is also in danger. And this is where things start to get dark.

While there are a few jokes that are thrown in from time to time to help keep you from cutting yourself and putting yourself out of your misery; the film focuses on the dark side of pretty much every character, cartel, and government agency. There are betrayals, bribes and merciless killings at every turn and sadly this all takes place within the first hour of the film! Does anyone have any good left in them or is everyone just looking out for themselves?

Well thankfully you do eventually get to see the good side of a few characters, surprisingly so in some cases, and that’s the only thing that keeps this from being the most depressing documentary of all time. The ending is just a little too Hollywood for my taste but the gritty action, the unbelievable tension, and the realism of it all is what keeps you glued to the edge of your seat. What I loved most was some of the subtle but truly in-depth looks into the characters’ backgrounds and how that played into some of the seemingly inexplicable changes in their behavior. Taylor Sheridan (writer) continues to be on point when taking you into the dark underworld that most of society would rather pretend doesn’t exist and this is why this film is so special.

I absolutely loved this film and I suggest that you check it out, but only do when you’re in a really good mood. I give Soldado a rating of FRESH!
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