Directed By: Stefano Sollima
Written By: Taylor Sheridan
Cinematography: Dariusz Wolski
Editor: Matthew Newman
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, James Brolin, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Donovan, Isabella Moner, Matthew Modine, Shea Whigham, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Elijah Rodriguez
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.
One can understand the reason for making. The film As luckily the screenwriter of the first film returns even if the director does not, but while the new director excels at visuals and setting a mood that is more like a western with shifting loyalties and questionable morals. The film seems to have a more mainstream goal. Especially after the first film’s popularity.
This still feels like a movie that doesn’t need to be made. As just as the frustration of the characters it all seems to be much ado about nothing. As plans are set in order then canceled or changed. So that the returning characters must be either put against one another or abandon each other.
This film literally starts off with a bang that is both shocking and shows that there are no rules. Anything can happen. The film is filled with tension, but doesn’t keep up the momentum that the first scene starts.
Here the film still tries to introduce parallel storylines that will eventually cross. The all star once again is Benicio Del Toro as the sympathetic protagonist who seems unstoppable but reminds us of his humanity. Though he can be ruthless that seems to be less on display
Josh Brolin has a little more to do and he seems bad ass but doesn’t really get a chance to unleash that intensity physically and has less of a sense of humor about his overall job here. Even when activated –While the first film was moody it also managed to surprise you as we were constantly shifting and off guard as much as the main character. Here we are given more of an overall view and the film Stays moody. In fact it seems more all about mood and tone most of the time. Even after a thrilling suspenseful, brutal and surprising opening.
Strangely though it might be more in the fields and explained. This film Feels more political and shows how that constantly can get in the way of doing the so called right thing and getting the job done for actual change in anything.
What might be the problem is that this film seems a gateway into a third film. As it tries to ramp up shifting narratives and loyalties. The only problem is that it’s not clear where the third film if there is one will head to and what will be the point. As this film seems to have a clear cut story but is vague in finality and exactly what it is trying to say. While it dazzles us with situations and characters.
The film isn’t as hardcore political as the first film. It seems more an action movie with political ties. That doubles as a Moral lesson to a degree. That tries to show humanity in a soldier who acts more like a mercenary.
So while the first film felt like a story and commentary of sorts. This kind of feels like a statement. Born of frustration and it feels like taking control of characters for money but not exactly knowing what to do with the characters or move them along. So that it feels like they are running in circles they knew were there but act a little shocked when they are forced into.