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Sicario: Day Of The Soldado

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Oct 12, 2018
Sicario: Day Of The Soldado

About a half-hour into "Sicario: Day of the Soldado," an adolescent girl sits before her headmaster. She's just been in a schoolyard fight, and she's beaten the shit out of the other girl. "I ought to expel you," says the headmaster.

"Go ahead," she replies.

The headmaster tries to retain his composure, but he knows when he's beat.

"That's what I thought." She nods at him and turns to leave.

This is Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner), daughter of a powerful cartel kingpin, and she possesses all the mind-boggling wealth, power and self-assurance that accompany her birthright. She's a bad ass of the highest order, but she's going to be used as a strategic device for the US Government. This will make her vulnerable, which she isn't particularly accustomed to, and bring her whole world view into perspective.

The border between the US and Mexico is insecure. "The wall" is not tall enough. And the cartel is to blame. So all kinds of religious fundamentalists are getting into the country, blowing themselves to pieces in retail outlets and wreaking havoc on US peace and prosperity.

No worries, Secretary of Defense James Riley (Matthew Modine) allows ethically questionable federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to use disreputable means to start a war between rivaling gangs within the cartel. Graver brings in a known asset, Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro). He's got a bit of a chip on his shoulder, since the cartel kingpin, Isabel's father, murdered his family.

Ultimately, these Graver and Gillick will kidnap Isabel and pin the blame on her father's rival. But when it all goes wrong, Gillick and Isabel will need to rely on each other to illegally cross the border, fighting both countries' law enforcement and the cartel in the process.

Isabel is really the heart and soul of this movie. She's the character with the most at stake and the only one who develops through the course of the film. But she doesn't get the most screen time. This is what happens when a good movie becomes a franchise. The simple character-based storytelling in the first film becomes convoluted with a whole lot of tangential macho posing that misses the films core point.

Additionally, there's a whole subplot that builds up to next movie in the series — the rise of a new sicario (hitman or "hired assassin"). In the end, this film is a puzzle piece, incomplete without its companions.

The filmmaking though is top notch with stylish cinematography by Dariusz Wolski and music by Hildur Guðnadóttir. This Blu-ray combo pack comes with three detailed featurettes, all filled with actor and filmmaker interviews.

"Sicario: Day of the Soldado"
Blu-ray Combo Pack $You know the New Yorker cartoon caption contest? Go for it.www.sonypictures.com/movies/sicario2soldado/


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