In "Sicario: Day of the Soldado," the series begins a new chapter. In the drug war, there are no rules—and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, Federal Agent Matt Graver (Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in nefarious ways. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter to inflame the conflict—but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes "From Film To Franchise: Continuing The Story" (HD 08:26), "An Act Of War: Making Sicario: Day Of the Soldado" (HD 15:34) and "The Assassin And The Soldier: The Cast And Characters" (HD 14:04); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.
The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in Panavision® using the Arri Alexa Mini and XT camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The picture is impressively natural and cinematic in appearance, with effective stylization achieved with a dynamic lighting design. HDR contrast, as such, is excellent with a wide color gamut, emboldened with deep blacks, revealing shadow delineation and lighting highlights. The color palette is richly and warmly hued with natural fleshtones and environmental settings. Resolution is excellent on facial features, skin pores, hair, beards, clothing and object textures, making for a strongly realistic presentation. This is a gritty and thrillingly engaging visual experience whose realism makes for a terrific visual dynamic. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack at ear level is terrific, with an expansively dynamic presence that envelops the soundfield. Atmospherics are realistic and spatially engaging. Sound effects encompass power gun fire with excellent transient response and weight, various aircraft, military and police vehicles, rocket fire, explosions, various vehicle sounds, river currents, etc. Foley sound effects are effectively realistic. Surround engagement is often aggressive and directionalized. The orchestral score is powerful and often aggressively present and dynamic with good low-frequency extension. The music spreads wide and deep across the soundstage and extends to the four surrounds. Deep bass is extended at times to sub-25 Hz with enhanced .1 LFE energy. Dialogue is intelligible, though, a mixture of English and Spanish (with English subtitles). The dialogue is effectively integrated spatially, which is particularly noteworthy, as there is so much ADR..
The Immersive Sound element is very spotty, with an absence of sonically defining the three-dimensional soundscapes portrayed in the imagery, Virtually never is the technology used to enhance the spatially of scenes. Thus, in this case, the height layer is limited to a few instances of distant helicopters, brief sonic reverberations in a military hanger, a momentary overhead airplane, and low-level wind. The height layer is absent the orchestral score, which is limiting as an enveloping element. There is one really effective Immersive Sound element, when Brolin walks from a military hanger to get into a helicopter with the blade sounds above toward the screen, and a group of helicopters flying overhead.
This is a really excellent holosonic® ear-level soundtrack that delivers an exciting and often-haunting experience with, at times, effective height layer spatially dimensional enhancement. (Gary Reber)