Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Feds Fight Bad Hombres in Gory, Border War Sequel
I can’t think of a movie that has ever been more timely. Just as the debate about the detention of undocumented aliens has reached fever pitch, here we have a film revolving around the dark side of the border wars.
It doesn’t focus as much on the vast majority of non-violent refugees entering the country in search of the American Dream as on the “bad hombres” Donald Trump has repeatedly alluded to since the day he threw his hat into the ring as a presidential candidate. Although the film is technically a sequel, one need not have seen the original to enjoy this heart-pounding adventure.
Directed by Italy’s Stefano Sollima (Suburra) and written by Oscar-nominee Taylor Sheridan (for Hell or High Water), Sicario: Day of the Soldado co-stars Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro reprising their lead roles as CIA Agent Graver and undercover operative Alejandro Gillick, respectively.
As the film unfolds, we find the two being dispatched to Mexico by the Secretary of Defense (Matthew Modine) to smoke out the human traffickers smuggling radical Islamists into the U.S. There’s an urgency to their mission, given that some suicide bombers embedded with Latinos seeking asylum recently snuck across the Rio Grande before blowing themselves up in a big box store in Kansas City.
Trouble is, there are too Mexican gangs and too little time to sort out which one has started exporting terrorist cells. So, instead of searching for the guilty parties, our heroes secretly kidnap the daughter of a crime boss hoping that her mysterious disappearance will trigger a bloody turf war among the cartels competing for control of the region.
There is a method to the madness behind abducting Isabela Reyes (Isabela Moner). After all, her father is the ruthless kingpin who ordered the massacre of Gillick’s family in the original Sicario.
The ruse works for a while, but the plot thickens when the Mexican government catches wind of the spies’ scheme. The U.S. disavows any connection to them, a la Mission: Impossible, and suddenly it’s each man for himself in a harrowing struggle to escape back to the States by any means necessary.
A riveting, rough-edged, political thriller not to be missed!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity, graphic violence and bloody images
In English and Spanish with subtitles
Running time:122 minutes
Production Studios: Black Label Media / Rai Cinema / Thunder Road Pictures
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
For movies opening June 29, 2018
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (R for profanity, graphic violence and bloody images) High-body count, border war sequel finds CIA Agent Graver (Josh Brolin) and undercover operative Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro) re-teaming to take on drug cartels smuggling terrorists and undocumented aliens into the U.S. With Isabela Moner, Catherine Keener and Jeffrey Donovan. (In English and Spanish with subtitles.)
Uncle Drew (PG-13 for profanity, suggestive material and brief nudity) NBA star Kyrie Irving handles the title role in this hoops comedy about an elderly street legend who coaxes a bunch of his elderly buddies out of retirement to form a basketball team to compete in Harlem’s Rucker Park Tournament. Cast includes Shaq, Tiffany Haddish, LilRel Howery, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Nate Robinson, Lisa Leslie, Mike Epss and J.B. Smoove.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN
The Cakemaker (Unrated) Romance drama about a gay baker (Tim Kalkhof) who travels from Germany to Jerusalem after his married Israeli lover (Roy Miller) perishes in a car crash. There, he takes a job at his late boyfriend’s wife’s (Sarah Adler) cafe without letting her know about their secret relationship. With Zohar Shtrauss, Sandra Sade and Stephanie Stremler. (In Hebrew, German and English with subtitles.)
Dark River (Unrated) Sibling rivalry drama, set in Yorkshire, England, about a young sheep shearer (Ruth Wilson) who finds herself at odds with her estranged big brother (Mark Stanley) upon returning to their childhood home for their abusive father’s (Sean Bean) funeral. Support cast includes Esme Creed-Miles, Aiden McCullough and Steve Garti.
Leave No Trace (PG for mature themes) Dysfunctional family drama about a father (Ben Foster) and teen daughter (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) who live off the grid in a forest outside Portland, Ore. until they’re discovered by the authorities and placed under the care of social services. With Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey and Dana Millican.
Love, Cecil (Unrated) Reverential biopic about three-time Oscar-winning costume and set designer Cecil Beaton [1904-1980] who worked on such classic films as Gigi, My Fair Lady and Anna Karenina. Featuring commentary by Rupert Everett, David Hockney and Isaac Mizrahi.
Sanju (Unrated) Warts and all biopic chronicling the rise and fall from grace of Sanjay Dutt (Ranbir Kapoor), the star of hundreds of Bollywood films who served time in prison after becoming implicated in Mumbai terrorist attacks. With Sonam Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Dia Mirza. (In Hindi with subtitles.)
This Is Congo (unrated) Political documentary offering an unvarnished look at the lives of three survivors of the most recent cycle of civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Three Identical Strangers (PG-13 for mature themes) Skeleton-in-the-closet documentary about the deep secret revealing reunion at the age of 19 of triplets separated at birth and adopted by different families.
Woman Walks Ahead (R for profanity and brief violence) Jessica Chastain plays Catherine Weldon in this biopic, set in the 1890s, recounting how the artist became embroiled in the Lakota tribe’s struggle to retain their lands when she traveled from Brooklyn to the Dakotas to paint a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes). Supporting cast includes Sam Rockwell, Ciaran Hinds and David Midthunder. (In English and Sioux with subtitles.)