8/10 I picked the first “Sicario” as the best film of 2015 and it hails from one of my favorite directors who has really made a name for himself over the past few years; Denis Villeneuve. I was very surprised that the film was getting a sequel since the first film wrapped up so nicely. Upon hearing that screenwriter Taylor Sheridan would be back along with Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro (whom was robbed of an Oscar nomination for his performance in the first film), I was excited. Then I heard that original director Villeneuve and Emily Blunt wouldn’t be returning so I was less enthusiastic but still excited enough to put this film as #7 on my Most Anticipated Films of 2018. Now that I have watched it I can say that this is not as good as the original but it is a very solid movie worth seeing that if you enjoyed the first, you will still get something out of this film. Our main actors continue to play their roles phenomenally and the film is well directed. Stefano Sollima steps in for Villeneuve and although he isn’t as strong of a director, he made the film his own while also keeping the established tone from the first film and his directing was very solid. The action scenes are extremely well done, the script is very well written and even had some surprisingly funny lines, the tension is often gripping and the emotional stakes are high. The story also goes in a different direction than the first film which is a positive because you never want a sequel to just repeat the first film but in a different location and add a few new cast members (think “The Hangover Part II”). As for the film’s minor problems, I do have a few of them. In regards to the aforementioned story, the Mexican drug cartels are the villains of the film and we know of the main one whose daughter is an integral part to the story. However, we never really see or get to know her father, the cartels themselves or how they react to America’s war against them. It would have been nice to see the ripple effects from the drug cartels after his daughter gets taken. Although the cinematography was good, it does ill in comparison to the first because the first film was shot my Roger Deakins, probably the best cinematographer of our lifetime and this one is not. Same goes for the score. Now sadly deceased Johan Johansson scored the first film expertly and now the best part of this new score was the compositions repeated from the first film. Lastly, I have some mixed thoughts on the ending with one character getting out of a potentially life ending situation that isn’t really shown and also the very last frames of the film, which I won’t get into specifics because of spoilers. All that being said, this is a really good movie worth checking out, especially if you liked the first film but don’t expect it to measure up to how amazing the first film was back three years ago.
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