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Deleted Scenes: On <em>Sicario: Day of the Soldado</em>

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Deleted Scenes: On Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Chris Klimek

Isabela Moner and Benicio Del Toro are forced to lam it in the  Sicario  sequel. (Sony)

Isabela Moner and Benicio Del Toro are forced to lam it in the Sicario sequel. (Sony)

Spoiler for Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which is the Denis Villeneuve/Roger Deakins/Emily Blunt/Daniel Kaluuya-free sequel to the very good 2015 drug war thriller Sicario. Late in the movie, Josh Brolin, reprising his role as a C.I.A. black-ops guy from the first movie, is ordered to kill a 16-year-old girl—an unarmed noncombatant who is the daughter of a drug kingpin but not a criminal herself. There's more to it than that, but that's all I'll say just in case you feel compelled to see the film, which I do not endorse. 

Anyway, I talked about that scene in my review of the movie, which went into production in November 2016, the same month we elected a president who said on TV during the campaign that if you want to stop terrorists, "you have to go after their families." Given that Day of the Soldado opens with a scenario wherein Muslim suicide bombers are believed to have snuck into the United States across the Mexican border (though they're later revealed to have been American citizens from New Jersey), I believe this plot element was directly inspired by the current president's campaign rhetoric.

So I said that Soldado might "make you nostalgic for the more recent time when wondering whether an American soldier (or intelligence operative) would refuse a direct order to shoot an unarmed, noncombatant child in the head was a purely hypothetical exercise." That passage was cut from the review, ostensibly because it was too political. In my view, it was a fair observation to make about a film that has a clearly articulated political bent, albeit a more nuanced and humane one than anything we've heard the current president say on the topics of immigration or crime or drugs.