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Stefano Sollima
Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Isabela Moner
Writing Credits:
Taylor Sheridan

To fight the drug war on the US-Mexico border, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.

Box Office:
$35 million.
Opening Weekend:
$19,007,566 on 3055 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French Dolby 5.1
French Audio Descriptive Service
Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Latin Spanish
Castillian Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish
Castillian Spanish

122 min.
Price: $22.99
Release Date: 10/2/2018

• “From Film to Franchise” Featurette
• “An Act of War” Featurette
• “The Assassin and the Soldier” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Sicario: Day of the Soldado [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 8, 2018)

With a US gross of $46 million, 2015’s Sicario didn’t do much at the box office. However, the critically acclaimed film found a wider audience on video and produced well enough to spawn a sequel, 2018’s Sicario: Day of the Soldado.

As more terrorists enter the US across the Mexico border, CIA Agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) gets the assignment to deal with the issue. In this case, US authorities decide to provoke a war among drug cartels under the belief this will end the human smuggling.

To achieve this goal, Matt plans to kidnap Isabel (Isabela Moner), the youngest child of drug lord Carlos Reyes, and leave the impression a rival took the girl. To assist, he recruits the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), a ruthless operative of questionable loyalty.

The view of Soldado as a true sequel to Sicario probably doesn’t really fly, partly because it loses the first film’s main character. In Sicario, we focused on an FBI agent played by Emily Blunt, but she fails to reappear for the second chapter.

In addition, Sicario told a pretty self-contained story. It didn’t come with an obvious spot to extend the narrative beyond the general notion of battles between US authorities and Mexican drug cartels.

These factors make Soldado feel more like a spinoff than an actual sequel, though we do get some returning characters. In particular, our two leads – Matt and Alejandro – return from the prior flick, so they add to a sense of continuity.

In addition to Blunt, Soldado loses the first film’s director, as Stefano Sollima replaces Denis Villeneuve. The product of Italian cinema, Soldado marks Sollima’s English language debut, whereas US audiences already had some familiarity with Villeneuve’s work prior to Sicario.

Does any of this make a difference? Maybe, as Soldado lacks the same level of gravitas Villeneuve brought to Sicario. Whether or not any of this stems from the director’s newness to Hollywood seems up for debate, but it feels like a possible factor.

Both films do share the same writer, as Taylor Sheridan returns for Soldado. While he doesn’t create a bad text, he doesn’t seem to have the same level of investment in Soldado.

And who can blame him? Presumably he wrote Sicario because he had a particular story he wanted to deliver, whereas one suspects Soldado came to life more as “product” and lacked the same natural sense of creation.

Again, this comes up for debate. Perhaps Sheridan came up with a bunch of tales in this universe that he hoped to tell and Soldado exists as just as organic as its predecessor.

However, Soldado doesn’t come across that way, as it seems more contrived. It gives the impression of a story that exists to capitalize on the first movie’s moderate success, not one that needs to exist in its own right.

It doesn’t help that Soldado comes rife with clichés, and the basic story never becomes especially compelling. Oh, the film gussies up the action with some dramatic fight sequences, but these don’t do much to make the characters or situations especially involving.

In addition, Soldado actively leaves open room for another chapter. As noted, Sicario felt self-contained, but the sequel brings an impression that it desires to leave the door open for a third film.

This mainly comes via Miguel (Elijah Rodriguez), a Mexican teen who gets recruited into the cartel. I’ll avoid spoilers other than to note that Soldado leaves open his future in a manner that screams sequel.

This seems unnecessary and lends the Miguel character a wholly contrived feel. The movie doesn’t concentrate on him enough to explore the role well, so he seems to exist solely to give us room for a third film that examines his future.

That’s just another factor that makes me view Soldado more as product than anything else. The movie still manages decent entertainment but unlike the first film, it doesn’t stick with the viewer, as it offers pretty generic material with little inspiration involved.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Sicario: Day of the Soldado appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, this was an appealing transfer.

Sharpness always looked strong. No signs of softness marred the presentation, as it gave us a tight, well-defined image.

Jagged edges and moiré effects remained absent, while edge haloes also failed to appear. Print flaws stayed absent as well.

Like most modern films of this sort, Soldado went with teal and orange. These tones seemed predictable, but they worked fine within the movie’s design parameters and showed good delineation.

Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. I thought this was a consistently strong image.

I also felt pleased with the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. With a fair amount of action on display, the mix used the channels in an involving manner throughout much of the film.

This meant gunfire and other mayhem all around the room, and the elements connected in a concise, smooth manner. Add to that music as a bold participant and the soundscape turned into an aggressive partner.

Audio quality always satisfied. Music was dynamic and full, and effects followed suit, so those components came across as accurate and well-developed.

Speech seemed distinctive and crisp, without edginess or other issues. Everything impressed in this strong soundtrack.

Three featurettes fill out the set, and we start with From Film to Franchise. This eight-minute, 26-second reel includes comments with producers Thad Luckinbill, Edward L. McDonnell, Molly Smith and Basil Iwanyk, director Stefano Sollima, executive producer Erica Lee, and actors Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, and Jeffrey Donovan.

“Film” looks at the decision to make a sequel and aspects of the continued story. A few decent notes arrive, but a lot of the show feels promotional.

An Act of War fills 15 minutes, 34 seconds with info from Del Toro, Brolin, Sollima, Luckinbill, McDonnell, Iwanyk, Smith, Donovan, director of photography Dariusz Wolski, location manager Shani Orona, production designer Kevin Kavanaugh, military technical advisor James D. Dever.

With “War”, we learn about how Sollima came to the film and aspects of his work, photography, sets and locations, research and realism, action/stunts, and various production specifics. Like “Film”, this one leans toward hype, but it comes with enough useful material to merit a look.

Finally, The Assassin and the Soldier takes up 14 minutes, four seconds with notes from Iwanyk, Sollima, Smith, Del Toro, Brolin, Wolski, McDonnell, Donovan, and actors Catherine Keener, Isabela Moner, and Elijah Rodriguez.

This featurette examines we take a view of cast, characters and performances. It acts as a decent take on the subject matter.

The disc opens with ads for Searching, Equalizer 2, Venom, Patient Zero, The Girl in the Spider’s Web and The Padre. No trailer for Soldado appears here.

While the first film offered a rich, dramatic tale, Sicario: Day of the Soldado falls short of its success. Although it comes with a few good action scenes, the movie lacks the drama and heft it needs to work. The Blu-ray boasts strong picture and audio along with a handful of bonus features. I can’t claim to actively dislike Soldado, but it does become a disappointing sequel.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8888 Stars Number of Votes: 9
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