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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Cindy Prascik's Review of Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the highly anticipated (at least by me) Sicario sequel, Day of the Soldado.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing plot-related that the trailers didn't give away.
In order to combat trafficking of would-be terrorists across the border, the US aims to set the Mexican drug cartels at war with one another.
The usual full and fair disclosure(s)...quite a laundry list this time! First, I love Josh Brolin. Like, I really, really love him...since the Goonies but especially since The Young Riders. He never seems to be one of the guys who comes up in the Gary Oldman-level conversation, but I've loved him so long he's practically part of my DNA, and, despite the fact that he's become a superstar with a hefty collection of accolades, I've never learned to take his position above the movie's title for granted. 
Secondly, I am what is not-so-politely referred to as "part of the problem" in Hollywood. I like testosterone-fueled shoot 'em ups, and I didn't miss a female lead this time around. (No hate; I mention it only because it does color my opinion of movies.) Finally, the real world is such a shambles these days that it can be difficult to stomach films that depict some of its worst aspects, and certainly it's never easy to be reminded how awful your own government can be. I was pretty twitchy through Day of the Soldado's opening scene, but I was able to get lost in the story quickly, troublesome as the subject matter is.
Onward: Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a solid follow-up to one of 2015's better surprises. The movie loses a bit of momentum in its second act, but, thanks to well-maintained tension, a fully-utilized runtime, and amazing performances all 'round, it never really lets go of your attention. An implausible twist nearly derails the whole shebang (my cinema actually laughed out loud during the grim scene, certainly not the filmmakers' intention), but the film quickly regains its footing. 
Brolin and co-star Benicio Del Toro are riveting, and, like the original, Day of the Soldado boasts extraordinary cinematography (this time by the incomparable Dariusz Wolski), and a phenomenal score by Hildur Guonadottir. This felt like the first time in a very, very long time I was truly excited to get out to the movies, and Sicario: Day of the Soldado did not disappoint. Also, small spoiler alert: Josh Brolin eating noodles like he's never seen food before is my new porn.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado clocks in at 122 minutes and is rated R for "strong violence, bloody images, and language."
Sicario: Day of the Soldado as a whole is never quite as good as some of its parts, but it met my expectations and kept me engaged to the end. 
Of a possible nine Weaslesys, Sicario: Day of the Soldado gets eight.
Fangirl points: Yeah, still gotta give 'em to Josh Brolin, and also Dariusz Wolski, whose work never ceases to amaze me. AND...Shea Whigham, too!
Until next time...

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