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Sicario Day of the Soldado Review (2018) | The Franchise is Not Yet Lost

Sicario Day of the Soldado had standards hard to beat, and we are talking about Denis Villeneuve standards. So does it even graze it? Fortunately, yes. The series that kickstarted in 2015 with the first installment has not been lost yet thanks to Taylor Sheridan who has once again taken the story forward by writing an absolute beauty. Sadly this movie is less on the action front as was promoted via trailers, but if you have a good solid fortified story in the front seat, petty things like that hardly matter.

The politics in Sicario Day of the Soldado is high on dope and the capricious behavior of government is simply frustrating. You almost get an idea of how the government works, how it doesn’t flinch whilst taking bold decisions and then how it becomes terrified trying to see it all the way through. You fathom that even the people who actually get the job done, happen to be nothing but tiny specks who don’t matter to a comfy sprawled up system.

Unfortunately, it works the same in every enclave of life. You go anywhere, that’s how the world rolls today. You don’t have a say in anything if you are not at the top of the chain. All you can do is suggest your ideas, put forth things to keep the engine of life rolling, but even if somebody at the highest notch wishes to listen, you are tightly bound to a single order. One word and everything that you have so carefully built will fall like dominoes. Everything boils down to just one man’s command who will do anything to save his name.

Sicario Day of the Soldado leverages that quotient effectively and depicts men trapped under decisions. It shows how brave men crumble even when they are at the top of their game.

Direction and Plot of Sicario Day of the Soldado (Spoilers)

The direction of Sicario Day of the Soldado by Stefano Sollima turned out to be surprisingly good if not matching the levels of Denis. That brings to mind the glorious depiction of an ambush from the perspective of a little girl inside a van. Not for once do we see a theatrical glorification of the men shooting at the convoy. It is like living a tale from your very own perspective. There are no faces to evil. From the vantage of a girl every man with a gun is. It is one of the most powerful scenes from the movie.

Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Donovan and Benicio Del Toro in Sicario Day of the Soldado

Sollima is great with building up. He becomes successful in creating some real tension. When you see your hero trapped in a situation, you are constantly feeling that mind-numbing blow in your heart, scanning tiny moves by the enemy. You are constantly rooting for him to escape a tight situation. If a director is able to create that thrilling nail-biting moment without giving away what’s going to happen, he has managed to rivet you in a trance. That’s what happens here.

Stefano Sollima is also unafraid of depicting gore. Blood is not splattered all across the movie since a lot of areas are left to the viewer’s imagination. But when it is an absolute necessity there is no doubt aplenty.

The Story

This sequel explores US’s involvement once again on Mexico’s soil after a tragic bombing occurs in a mall in Kansas City. As a comeback bid, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) is put on a mission to use extreme measures against those suspected to transport terrorists from Mexico. In comes Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) who is hired to start a war between cartels.

Matt Graver: You gonna help us start a war.
Alejandro: With who?
Matt Graver: With everyone.

Alejandro then slays a crooked lawyer of Matamoros cartel in a theatrical display of wrath. Later the team nabs Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner), the daughter of a kingpin of their rivals to piss them off. They stage a rescue with the help of DEA, to plant the idea that she was kidnapped by her father’s enemies. Their mission is to escort her back to Mexico but to hand her over to her father’s rivals so as to inflame the strain.

The team gets ambushed by Mexican police as Isabel escapes amid havoc. That’s where Alejandro parts with Graver and decides to pursue Isabel alone. The US Government figures out that they messed up since two of the suicide bombers were actually US citizens and were not smuggled in as were preconceived. The mission to mess with the cartels is aborted at once and Graver is asked to erase everything that could link their involvement. Meaning even Isabel is to be executed.

I could throw a stick across the river and hit fifty grieving fathers.

Saying No

On being ordered to do so, Gillick refuses thereby turning rogue. Disguised as illegal immigrants Gillick and Isabel try to enter the US as Graver and his team tries to hunt them down in Mexico.

One of the best conversations happens when not a word is spoken. It is aced by a power pack performance by Bruno Bichir‘s character of a deaf person. Gillick and Isabel bump into him as the former uses sign language to speak to him. In a world of chaos where nobody trusts anyone, the poor old deaf man comes as a blessing.

Different worlds!

Benicio Del Toro at Bruno Bichir's house still

After being identified by a coyote named Miguel (Elijah Rodriguez), Gallo (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), who handles the business of illegal immigrants, nabs Gillick and Isabel. He then forces Miguel to shoot Gillick taking Isabel captive.

The Sicario Killer

Even though Miguel hesitates to shoot Gillick at first, he shoots him in the head as the gang moves on leaving the sicario to die. Frustrated at what he has become and what his gang sees him as – “A Sicario Killer” which was nothing but a feigned conceit for him (probably because he felt he just killed a tied man who had no choice and that there was no honor in what he did), he chooses to walk away from them.

Graver with his team, with the help of a tracker planted on Isabel, tracks her down and executes Gallo and his gang. Eventually, he decides to have mercy on the girl and rescues her to be put on Witness protection in the US, thus going against his orders.

Meanwhile, it turns out, Gillick is not after all dead, that the bullet had gone straight through his jaw. He lifts himself up walks up to a car and then drives for the border. You will have your heart in your mouth watching him gradually rise and fall. The reality engulfed in that scene is simply mind-boggling.

One year later we find him in good shape as he tracks down Miguel the boy who had shot him, asks him if he wants to be a sicario.

So you want to be a Sicario?

With that, the curtains drop. Seems like we have another part in the making. A brilliant way to leave the strands open.

You can order Sicario: Day of the Soldado from here:

What was Baffling?

Baffling was the conclusive bits I would say. Even though they were gorgeously aced, may be back in our minds we didn’t want it to get over so soon. Maybe a badass fight scene before all hell broke loose for Alejandro would have been more exciting. We knew what Alejandro could do, but he felt powerless when surrounded by Gallo’s gang. Failing to do any considerable damage and getting shot in the head felt like a plastic bag trapped in a hurricane.

To a person watching Sicario Day of the Soldado for the first time, without the knowledge of what went down in the first, explaining how badass Alejandro felt frustrating. Primarily because Stefano failed to leverage him more in here. Alejandro Gillick felt trampled and weak when put in a tight situation. I guess we could have used him more to depict his real power.

The eventuality of the flick Sicario Day of the Soldado has a statement from Alejandro who ends the movie by pressing the question of Miguel wanting to be a sicario. But there hasn’t been a single talk about him wishing to be one. He was a coyote, yes, and he did shoot him and got branded as a Sicario Killer. But that didn’t mean he wanted to be one. It was a matter of choice which from Miguel’s disapproval of his killing act felt like taken. Unfortunately, Gillick’s statement, in the end, felt like an assertion, as if Miguel didn’t have a choice yet again. That fact itches somewhere.

The Final Verdict

Goes without saying that Denis is hard to beat, or even match horns with. That was a standard impossible to match for any director who was going to step in for the sequel. Surprisingly Sollima’s work isn’t bad at all. You can witness a lot of seriousness captured inside his grim frames. You get riveted to the story at once knowing something huge is at stake.

The good thing is that we get to see Graver in action a lot. He spends a lot of onscreen time complementing the story properly with his involvement. At the end of it all, you can’t help but wonder if Sicario Day of the Soldado could have used a little more action. Or a tad more badassery from Alejandro’s character which was on the receiving end for a long time.

But to be honest, everything fell into place and felt justified in the end.

Top 15 Movies of 2015 | Extraordinary flicks released in the year

As we slip into a new era, it is high time we delve into the preceding past that was successful in helming some brilliant movies. 2015 was a happening year for every movie buff. We were super-stoked as flicks bloomed and boomed one after the other like droplets falling from the sky. Some were downright pathetic. Some were exceptionally good. This leaflet is intended to celebrate the top 15 movies of 2015 that discharged from cannons of top-notch directors and gave wings to ideas that were already badass per se on papers.

Top 15 Movies of 2015 List

Guided by our supercool wont of looking at the positive vibes of a flick, we bring to you a list of the top 15 that simply can’t go unnoticed. If you haven’t committed yourself to these yet, make sure you watch ‘em ASAP!

1. Inside Outinside out movie wallpaper

The most endearing movie of all times, Inside Out came as a blessing to us. Not only did this Pixar concept blow us away, but the fact that the movie waded deep into the waters of sentience melted us beyond limit. It was a whole new territory of comedy blended superbly with a brilliant plot iced by an outstanding animation. Hence, we place it at the top of our top 15 movies of 2015 list.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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The Force Awakens let us dig into our forgotten past. It allowed us to revisit the awesomeness of one of the most successful and awesome franchises of all times. With a bad-ass plot that promises another great sequel in the making, Star Wars is a complete package. Glimpses and references from the past made our heart melt.

3. Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road movie wallpaper

Fury Road was everything we could have asked from a George Miller extravaganza. The rad setup, outstanding plot, and sheer insanity hurled us back into time. There was more to the franchise, an unexplored territory of beauty that Miller was successful in re-creating. We loved this newly found laconic avatar of Max. Tom Hardy was a perfect find.

4. Creed

still of Rocky and Adonis Jonhson in Creed movie

Creed was a big pleasant surprise. The fact that the trailer didn’t say much had us doubting the franchise future. But Coogler uplifted the series once again, with Jordan in his vanguard. Stallone was surprisingly good yet again. With a story that reeked of a touching dramatic proving ground, it was a perfect way to keep the Rocky legacy alive!

5. Sicario

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Sicario is a perfect depiction of the US-Mexican muck. Things are bad there, and Sicario leaps into the waters of chaos to give us the complete picture. A story that unfolds like a blossoming flower, it was an engaging flick that walked on paths of a brilliant political drama.

 6. Bridge of Spies

Still of Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies movie

Ah! The intricacies involved! From our vantage things appear trivial news. But the complexities entailed have been shot by the rad Spielberg camera. Tom Hanks was just perfect as the protagonist who went through hell to save lives. Politics at its best and worst!

 7. The Martian

the martian movie wallpaper

With Andy Weir’s genius tale doing magic for Ridley, this was a perfect leap into sci-fi intricacies. Matt Damon does a great job as Watney and packs in the right kind of humour to make science even more interesting than it already is. One of the finest literally out of the world flick!

8. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible Rogue nation movie wallpaper

The MI series barely fails to deliver. This stood as one of the finest MI movies to have ever been helmed. With McQuarrie behind the camera to do it the justice it deserved, it had impossible gut-wrenching action, and an intricate plot that kept our adrenaline pumping throughout the flick.

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron

wallpaper of avengers age of ultron

Marvel marveled us yet again with a super-villain that made sure Avengers end up turning into his puppets. With a bad-ass plot, and a brilliant glimpse into the head of pizzazz, Age of Ultron was successful in opening up even better gates of impending sequels.

10. Jurassic World

symbol of Jurassic World movie

Another movie that let the tap of reminiscence running, Jurassic World came at a time when everything about dinosaurs was long forgotten. A perfect tribute to our ancestors who never made it! This is a deadly jump into the jaws of awesomeness that would let you relive your lost verve.

11. Spectre

Spectre movie wallpaper

Mendes brought yet another installment to bid adieu to one of the finest and classiest actors to have ever played Bond. The awesomeness of the movie pervaded throughout as it let Bond on a hunt to find ‘The Boss’ and the author of his pain. Batista inclusion made things even more bad-ass.

12. Pawn Sacrifice

Pawn sacrifice movie wallpaper

One of the most underrated movies that probably might have gone unnoticed if you aren’t a chess fan, Pawn Sacrifice was a brilliant exploration into the head of one of the finest players to have ever lived. It was a unique perspective that made for a great viewing experience as it skipped minute aspects of the game for emphasis. Toby was a perfect choice for Bobby!

13. In the Heart of the Sea

Still from In the heart of the sea movie wallpaper

Get lost in the rhythm of poetry and bad-ass visuals. A perfect tribute to the brilliant Moby Dick tale. The movie’s screenplay is sheer music to the ears. It brings Philbrick’s brilliant perspective into the front page, and reeks of crime, helplessness, and despair.

14. The Walk

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If there’s a biopic out there that is endearing, elegant, comic at the same time riveting, this is it! The walk isn’t just a walk on a rope, it is everything that lets an insane thought unfurl into the horizon of possibilities. Petit’s confidence, verve, gusto, flair and spirit are all worth commendable.

15. The Man from U. N. C. L. E.

the man from uncle movie wallpaper solo and illya

What is downright delightful is to watch how two people who hate each other to their guts end up working as a team. The humour of the movie makes it a brilliant hoot! Even though it tries hard at a point to run into gravity, the comic timing of actors don’t let it become one. A brilliant entertainer!

Other Awesome Movies from 2015

Albeit there were more movies that we could have added to our top 15 movies of 2015 list, we found the aforementioned ones more prominent. Some dainty movies like Mr. Holmes, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Hunger Games – Mockingjay part 2, The Good Dinosaur, Trainwreck, Crimson Peak, and Black Mass couldn’t make the cut since they weren’t quite there. Even though some of them had great stories in the backdrop to uplift the direction, some of them lacked a proper screenplay that stopped it from getting helmed into perfection.

Whatever the case might it goes without saying you need to watch all movies from our top 15 movies of 2015 list.

Watch ‘Em All

Now that you have got a good insight of our top 15 movies of 2015, it is time to go watch them all if you have accidentally missed any.

Stay tuned to get our next top 15 category which you will find in our Blog section. These lists will help you make the right decision.

Peace.

Sicario Review (2015)

Sicario is a thrilling ride into the US-Mexican ongoing drug war, where the story takes you into the deep waters of perversion, vengeance, and corruption. Mexico reeks of death. The drug has polluted its air.

“It is a land of wolves now.”

The aforementioned escapes the roaring gasps of Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro) as he slips in an advice to Kate Macer (Emily Blunt).

The Direction of Sicario Movie

Denis Villeneuve has a knack for helming beauties. Sicario is yet another product of his extraordinary brain. What I love most about Denis’ direction is the fact that his frames carry the perfect amount of profundity. They are thought-provoking, give you ample amount of time to feel the thrill. You are able to focus properly and contemplate between his lingering frames.

sicario movie wallpaper 2015

Brilliant top scenic views that blend in with the gorgeous Johann Johannson music, deafening helicopter shots, or the silhouette of the private jet over a barren land depicting the long exhausting travel, carry Denis’ suggestive flair.

The acting department is literally thriving with exceptional performances by the movie’s stellar cast. The screenplay too is very well written, taking the crime genre into account.

You can order Sicario movie from here:

Moments to Cherish (Spoilers)

One of the most gorgeous bits of the movie is when Emily Blunt is shown “the fireworks” – a city breathing on its tragedy, bleeding with death, and burning in fire. The unfolding of the main Sicario was one helluva twist to the tale that was written beautifully by Taylor Sheridan.

Another thing that I loved was Hernandez’s character – Silvio. A dispensable soul who was manifested subtly by Denis. Like any other Mexican, he was a guy with fingers in the dirt. Oblivious to what was coming, with a prepared family. Denis shows such a way of living is common in Mexico. How they have accepted death as a way of life!

The movie ends quite dramatically as it leaves Kate Macer with a choice, the choice to shoot a Sicario like Alejandro and do the right thing, or let him breathe and let the city smother itself in the flames of vengeance. As the final bits rush in showing Silvio’s death aftermath, we see his son trying to play football, his mother trying to cheer him when we hear bullets in the backdrop. Their world stops to heed at the distraction, but then again, they have accepted it to be a part of living, and they still continue. It is an extremely poetic bit that makes you pity their lives.

Check out our other reviews of Denis’s movies as well.

You can check out the trailer of Sicario movie here: