When Sicario came out in 2015, it ended up being my pick for the best film of that year. It surprised me even. I walked in expecting a decent thriller about the war on the drug cartel but what I watched was something much more cerebral, carnal and contemporary in spirit. The screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (who directed this year's fantastic Wind River) presented a story that was surprising and engrossing. It became a prestige action picture, if you will.
Sicario was also that rare critical darling of being both an R-rated drama and a commercial success. So, now we have the sequel Sicario 2: Soldado. There are several key players not returning for this film: Director Denis Villeneuve, Cinematographer Roger Deakins and co-stars Emily Blunt and Daniel Kaluuya (who also starred in this year's hit Get Out).
Although the omission of such talent can be a red flag, the sequel does bring back an impressive core: actors Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, plus Sheridan as screenwriter again.
Near the end of Sicario, Del Toro's hitman character told Blunt, "This is the land of wolves now." Judging by the intensity of the new teaser trailer that dropped today, it looks like Sony Pictures is making good on its promise of a satisfying expansion of the Sicario saga.