Immoral choices: a Review of ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’

The Plot: The drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro. Available on SHOWTIME.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: It is nearly impossible to watch “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” without the current political relationship between the United States and Mexico on your mind. As US citizens, we’ve come to believe that Mexico is an unruly place controlled by drug cartels, corrupt cops, and a political system unwilling or unable to stop any of it. All this leads to the greatest humanitarian crisis in North America as thousands flee their homeland for a better life. As they enter the US, they are faced with a harsh reality. This country is divided and unable to assist. Instead, we have detention centers, lethargic immigration systems, and politicians spewing xenophobia and vitriol. When combined, this mixture creates a powder keg; one this film takes full advantage of with precision, violence, and pain.

This film uses a bombing at a shopping center in Kansas City to get the ball rolling. When it is revealed that the bombers were of Arabic descent, the US responds in the most US of ways. Violence, torture, compromised men, and immoral choices in an immoral war have all become hallmarks of the war on terror and they are used here to find some sense of truth. The truth is these men were American, trained abroad, and re-entered the country through the US/Mexican border. This reveals a much bigger issue than just homegrown terrorists. A cartel war is brewing below our southern border and in its wake is left death, drugs, and human trafficking. As the US works to broaden the definition of terrorism to include the cartels, it becomes clear to the audience the US government is going to war with them; a move we’ve made before and are probably making at this very moment.

This war won’t be fought like other wars. Instead, children will be used as pawns. Betrayal will sicken the audience. A change in politics will define the day and victims will be left at the border. As the film plays out, it becomes increasingly apparent how complicated our relationship is with Mexico; neither side playing nice or fair. To demonstrate this lack of trust, “Sicario” once again returns to a stomach-turning border crossing scene. As bullets fly and people die, you get a sense that this war could go on forever.

For some, at times, this movie can feel disjointed and disconnected. It asks a lot of the audience. It requires connecting dots and stringing pieces together. It leaves things unsaid and allows others to linger. Most audience members don’t have the patience for this sort of thing. I understand this mindset because I frequently find myself in the same position. For me, it worked here and ended up being a movie I enjoyed more than the original which is something I almost never say.

Be good to each other.

More in Life

Local scouts greet attendants at the Renton First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Photo courtesy of Patrick Montemerlo.
Local scouts celebrate big milestones

Scouts in Boy Scouts of America celebrated Scout Sunday, a national opportunity… Continue reading

Luis Hernandez. Courtesy of Renton Schools
He didn’t care much for class until his teacher encouraged his photography

Local Renton student’s photographs featured in exhibit in Spain

Courtesy of Armondo Pavone.
“I’m enjoying all of it”

Pavone speaks on his first weeks as mayor

PHOTO BY HALEY AUSBUN
Tommy the Turtle returns

Historic, interactive art placed at Kennydale Beach

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The International Lion Dance & Martial Arts Team performed in honor of Lunar New Year at the event, Jan. 28 at Renton Technical College 2020 Celebrity Chef event. RTC President Kevin McCarthy and Advanced Sommelier Christopher Chan participated in the demonstration, offering heads of lettuce to the lions. The Lion Dance is meant to bring good luck.
A tasty Lunar New Year

Renton Technical College got a tasty start to the new year with… Continue reading

Casey Pearson, Natalie Schlappi and Oliver Taylor are Renton Rotary Club’s January 2020 Teachers of the Month.
Teachers of the Month for January

As part of their commitment to education, and to celebrate teachers in… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. On Jan.22 about 60 St. Anthony’s students put together gift bags with school supplies for their sister school in Haiti, with the help of the WE and NFL Huddle for Good initiative. The schools connected after the devastating earthquake in Haiti killed a young missionary connected to the parish in Renton.
Students volunteer for sister school in Haiti

St. Anthony’s Parish works with WE, NFL for students

Photo courtesy of city of Renton. Council President Ruth Pérez speaks at Centro Rendu de San Vicente de Paul for the Reyes Magos event.
Census campaign joins Reyes Magos celebration

Members of Renton’s Hispanic community gathered Jan. 10 at Centro Rendu de… Continue reading

Photos courtesy of Renton School District.
                                Students across the district are hosting events, assemblies, celebrations of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pictured are Benson Hill Elementary students reenacting lunch counter sit-ins and other Civil Rights actions against segregation. The district stated in a tweet that schools blend these activities into existing work to teach students history; Black scholars in math, science, medicine; segregation; race; and other topics of U.S. social and political climate.
Renton students honor Doctor King

Students across the district are hosting events, assemblies, celebrations of the life… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Carol Kaelson. Christel Tucker, a Renton resident and flight attendant, stands at the wheel at Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs Monday, Jan. 20.
Rentonite spins the wheel of her dreams

Local finds herself winning thousands on Wheel of Fortune

Photo courtesy of Patrick Dodd
                                Patrick Dodd and his father, Stan Dodd, at Hannegan Pass, Cooper Lake Trail. After Stan Dodd died in 2019, Patrick decided to dedicate 2020 to hiking and raising money to Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center.
He lost his dad, now he hikes for him

Local man turns to nature, blogging to fund cancer research

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The new Bickersons Brewhouse opened on Nov. 9. Two months later, Jan. 9, business leaders and the Renton Chamber of Commerce celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting, featuring owners Frank Castro and Shaunn Siekawitch. Go bicker with the “Bickersons” at 4710 NE Fourth St., Renton.
Ribbon cut for new Renton brewhouse

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The… Continue reading