Is it just me or do these look like the same movie? On the one hand you have the dark and serious second chapter in the Sicario series, Sicario 2: Soldado, following a badass mercenary in the world of international drug smuggling played by Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Guardians of the Galaxy’s own Benicio Del Toro. On the other you have the dark comedy Gringo, starring David Oyelowo as a businessman who gets caught up in a bad drug deal with a cartel in Mexico.
Sicario had some great things going for it, including Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Del Toro. But Blunt was the lead, and the typically fantastic actress seemed stuck in a role where she was the only one making mistakes and the big bad guys were the only ones knowing what was going on. Del Toro’s character was by far the best thing the film had going for it, the kind of character that got Kevin Spacey his Academy Award and in another year could have done the same for Del Toro. But the 2015 film was most memorable for its long, slow, atmospheric scenes where nothing happened, making it feel like the film would never end. But with Del Toro’s character driving the sequel and a new director (swapping Stefano Sollima for Denis Villeneuve), is there hope Sicario 2 could rise above the original?
Gringo has a different kind of cast of stars. In addition to Oyelowo it stars Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, and Alan Ruck. This one will be an Amazon Studios release–the studio is still looking for its breakout equivalent of a box office hit. As with Sicario 2, again we have the theme of drug smuggling and drug deals gone bad. both of these arrive on the heels of this year’s mildly successful and critically acclaimed drama comedy American Made with Tom Cruise, which took the whole drug smuggling concept in its own direction, poking fun at a real-life drug smuggler from the 1980s as his world crashed in on him.
So which one is for you? Check out these trailers for Sicario 2 and Gringo:
Get Out’s Catherine Keener joins Jeffrey Donovan in Sicario 2–Sicario only featured Donovan in practically a cameo role.
Gringo hits theaters March 9, 2018. Sicario 2 arrives in theaters June 29, 2018.