Follow us on twitter @OVLMagazine Find us on Facebook OVL Magazine 67 Film Review Sicario: Day of the Soldado Anthony Lowery Things I’ve come to expect during a Taylor Sheridan movie: sweaty palms, heart palpitations, to forget to breathe, a headache from forgetting to breathe, to yell expletives (internally) at least once, and to want to do it all over again. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is no exception. Sheridan’s fourth outing as one of the grittiest screenwriters working today is yet another meditation in poetically bleak storytelling. It’s a lesson in impactful narrative and characterisation, and an antidote to the happily ever after. The war on drugs has intensified since the events of 2015’s staggering Sicario. The cartels are trafficking terrorists across the U.S.-Mexico border and the American government is forced to get dirty in a game of war where nobody is playing by the rules. Enter Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), a federal agent frostier than a Minnesota winter and his partner Alejandro, the most enigmatic hitman this side of No Country’s Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Following a string of suicide bombs on home soil, the duo are tasked into action, operating with more ruthless intent than a cold blade pressed against the back of your neck. Though a solid thriller from the relatively untested Stefano Sollima, the absence of Sicario’s masterful director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins is glaring. Dariusz Wolski’s (The Martian) camerawork falls just short on its potential, and the editing is less effective in building the same crippling suspense as its prequel. But Day of the Soldado is a smart sequel in that it isn’t really a sequel. It was vital to writer Sheridan to create a unique experience that transcends the boundaries of a typical follow-up. Aided by the overhaul in some of its creative crew, the movie plays more like a standalone set in the world of the original. Sure there are some returning characters, but the movie has its own rock- hard narrative that’ll have you pining for the third. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is powerful and poignant, with enough shocking moments to mean the sweat on your brow never dries. Grab a cold flannel and head on in. Tweet your thoughts @OVLMagazine @MrAntLowery #Sicario2 Films **** Director: Stefano Sollima Out on DVD/Blu-ray: October 29