Sicario: Day of the Soldado


Rated Greg’s Top 5 Least Politically Correct Movies

  1. Revenge of the Nerds
  2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  3. Sicario: Day of the Soldado
  4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  5. London Has Fallen

What sort of deal with the devil did Taylor Sheridan make?  I’ll admit I’m not that well versed in the history of Hollywood screenwriters, but it seems like the number of people who have written four or more great films over the course of their entire career would be a short list.  Tarantino, Aaron Sorkin, the Coen Bros. come to mind, but even they take 3-4 years to develop a single project.  Sheridan’s sequel to Sicario didn’t just earn him his fourth exceptional movie, but it’s the 48 year old’s fourth in a span of FOUR years!  How the hell is that even possible?  Add that to the promising start of his TV series Yellowstone and Sheridan’s output is no less of a fluke than Steph Curry’s first MVP campaign.


Now, with dialogue like “You wanna see this through? I’m gonna have to get…..dirty”, Taylor Sheridan isn’t going to be confused with William Shakespeare any time soon, but his films aren’t really about the dialogue.  They’re about scenery and story.  They’re about violence and the forgotten frontier.  They’re about the open road closing in on you. And they’re about the ruggedly handsome men and ruggedly pretty women that are good with a pistol.  Even to those who don’t typically clamor to see movies that feature a gun on the poster, I would recommend Sicario, Hell or High Water, and Wind River to any adult, as they represent the very peak of the thriller genre this decade.  HOWEVER, while I did like this movie very much, there’s no way in hell I’d recommend Sicario 2 to those with more gentle movie palates.


Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a strange anomaly for the movie industry in 2018.  Frankly, I have no idea why Sony made this movie.  Was it made specifically for Rated Greg?  It certainly wasn’t made to make money or else they wouldn’t have freakin named it Sicario: Day of the Soldado.  For a movie dependent on word of mouth, that’s quite the mouthful.  On top of that, you rarely if never see a sequel greenlit for a movie that made less than $100 million.  Even if Sicario made a billion dollars in my heart, it only made $47M in the actual US box office.

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Despite the original’s three Oscar nominations in 2016, Sony didn’t make this movie to win awards either, because Sicario 2 is among the most culturally reckless pieces of work I’ve ever seen.  I mean, just look at the fucking poster lol.


Emily Blunt’s character from the original is gone, along with any semblance of a moral compass.  What was a subtle thriller with two great action scenes is now a full fledged, firing on all cylinders roller coaster.  Usually a film becomes politically incorrect many years down the road, but this….and I have to hand it to them…..this action movie which TAKES PLACE ON THE MEXICO BORDER is a completely unapologetic work of fiction, with no regard for problematic messages it might portray to viewers, abroad and domestic, susceptible to cinematic influence.  It’s so barren of ideals that it’s honestly hard to figure out who you’re supposed to be rooting for.


I actually think Sony deserves some credit for releasing this movie and putting themselves at risk for any PC backlash.  This is the same company after all that was completely exposed by the North Korea hack and they don’t exactly have the public goodwill that Disney holds.  If a harmless movie like La La Land can receive mounds of shit from outrage culture, just imagine what they could do to this.

Would I be surprised if viewers find the portrayal of the American government or Mexican population offensive in Sicario 2?  Absolutely not.  Most level-headed adults SHOULD wince a little during certain exchanges, but goddamnit if this isn’t a REALLY well made action movie.  The Day of the Soldado is definitely a cloudy one, but I do genuinely believe from a filmmaking perspective this is the best movie of the year thus far (even if it’s not as good as the original).  And personally, I’m way more offended by the Mamma Mia 2 trailer anyways.  Grade: A+

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2018 Movie Report Card – Q2 Update

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Happy July everyone!  Box office returns are up 9% compared to last year (15% if you just look at April – June) and this is mostly thanks to back to back Disney juggernauts (Avengers, Black Panther, Incredibles 2, Han Solo).  So theater owners are raking in the dough at the moment but I would say actual movie quality is slightly down thus far.  More than ever, the most interesting movies are avoiding Disney release dates like I avoid leg day.  It’s hard to wait out competing with Avengers in April if Han Solo and Incredibles 2 are slated in the consecutive months following it, not too mention Black Panther owning most of February and March.

Is this the right strategy?  I’m skeptical.  People that are down to go see a movie like Lady Bird are going to see it whether superheroes are flying around in the next room or not. Sure there’s some overlap in the two audiences, but if anything there’s way more overlap with Lady Bird and other December releases like Call Me By Your Name than there is with summer blockbusters. Why wouldn’t an indie awards contender want to go head to head with Disney and own the summer amongst the “elites”?  It’d be like if a Michelin star restaurant was afraid to set up shop next to McDonalds.  It’s two very different products.

So anyways, I’ve been a little bored with the 2018 slate thus far. Here are some nits to pick for a few titles I haven’t had the time to write about:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Strike one was using the same music in the trailer that freakin’ Moonlight used.  I mean….. come onnnnnn.

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Strike two was having the second and third acts take place pretty much exclusively indoors.  Such an unforced error.   I’m not gonna give it a Strike 3 because the two action sequences in the first act are admittedly quite great.

Deadpool 2 – Confession, there’s a chance this movie is better than its grade. I accidentally went to the open caption screening (subtitles) and it was very distracting being able to read every joke before it was said.

Thoroughbreds & Unsane – Unique, interesting movies with mostly unsatisfying endings.

Hereditary – Much more unsettling than scary.  High quality filmmaking but not a fun watch.

Isle of Dogs – Fell WAYYY short of my Fantastic Mr. Fox expectations.

Borg vs McEnroe – This would have been good if it was just a McEnroe movie.  Shia Labeouf was born to play that hothead, but he’s a supporting character at most in this.


It’s not all negative though, here are some positives that I haven’t had the chance to write about:

Game Night – The best full-fledged comedy since 2016’s Popstar.

Solo – You know what, Alden Ehrenreich’s Harrison Ford impression is pretttty pretttttty good!  Unfamiliar?  He was the MVP of the Coen Bros. Hail Caesar.

Isle of Dogs: While not as good as Wes Anderson’s last stop motion feature, this is still a very cute movie and looks fantastic.  This clip sums it up.  Good boy!

Set it Up – A charmingly corny, throwback rom-com made by Netflix.  If you’re sick of the daily news cycle, this is a light and well deserved break from our sky is falling reality.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado – LOL, this is not a break from our sky is falling reality.  Needless to say the sequel to 2015’s brilliant Sicario is oh so unapologetically not PC, a perfect R Rated action thriller, and the best movie of the year so far.


Q3 Most Anticipated:

  1. The Predator
  2. Mission Impossible: Fallout
  3. BlacKkKlansman
  4. Sorry to Bother You
  5. Eighth Grade