Sony released the third and final trailer for the upcoming Sicario: Day of the Soldado the other day, and if anything it’s has cemented my expectation that this follow-up to 2015’s Sicario will be taking the story in a completely new direction tonally.
After watching the documentary Cartel Land in 2015, I was really looking forward to seeing the original Sicario and its take on the current situation with drug cartels. It ended up turning me on to director Denis Villeneuve and he’s since become one of my favorite contemporary filmmakers. Despite genre-hopping, all of the films of his that I’ve seen show a real mastery of suspense and tension that keeps the viewer enthralled throughout. He’s a great storyteller, plain and simple. But Villeneuve didn’t stick around for this second foray into the world of Mexican drug runners and the U.S.’s less-than-noble extralegal response to the problem.
The sequel is again penned by writer of the original, Taylor Sheridan. Since Sicario, Sheridan has become something of a critical darling with Hell Or High Water in 2016 and Wind River last year, the latter also serving as his directorial debut. However this time we’ve got Italian director Stefano Sollima taking the reins. This looks to be Sollima’s first foray into Hollywood despite an extensive career doing crime dramas back in his homeland, and from the look of Soldado‘s trailer, the sequel again promises gorgeous visuals despite a change in cinematographer.
Still, it seems that the tone has completely shifted from suspense and intrigue to straight-up take-no-goddamn-prisoners-blood-and-gunpowder in Soldado. I mean, I count at least three one-liners and someone skydiving. Skydiving!
I’m all for sequels trying to take the material in a new direction as opposed to just “the first one but more” mentality you get a lot of the time, and perhaps my love of the first film is making me biased, but after such a great investigation into the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico and the War on Drugs in the first film, I’m wondering if this is really the proper venue for balls-to-the-wall, high-speed popcorn action.
I guess we’ll have to wait until June 29 when Sicario: Day of the Soldado releases to find out if I’m wrong.