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Sicario 2: Soldado


Stars: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Catherine Keener, Matthew Modine, Shea Whigham, Elijah Rodriguez

Director: Stefano Sollima

The first story of the fight against drug cartels was nearly impossible to follow, but somewhat illuminated by Emily Blunt's lead performance. This sequel does not have Blunt, and manages to be almost a non-event, consisting of a virtually non-stop parade of people getting blown up or shooting each other.

The film's best scene is in fact its first, as suicide bombers blow up a Kansas City store. This small scene carries a real sense of urgency, and is notable for the mother (step forward, Beth Bailey) who pleads for the lives of herself and her small daughter.

Otherwise the plot, which you could fit on to the back of a small envelope, has iron-jawed Brolin hired by the US government, in the persons of Keener and long-time-no-see Modine, to formulate a plan to destroy two big drugs cartels operating out of Mexico.

Key to Brolin's subsequent scheme is the kidnapping of Isabel (Moner), stroppy schoolgirl daughter of cartel boss Reyes, with the idea that he'll put the blame on another gang.

This very quickly goes pear-shaped when Brolin's convoy is ambushed by Mexican police in the pay of Reyes, at least a dozen of whom are shot dead. 'You were told to start a war between the cartels,' thunders Keener, 'not the Mexican government' - while Modine orders the execution of the girl, currently being rescued by Brolin's friend and partner del Toro, after she's run away and into the clutches of one of the bad guys.

Things get increasingly silly and protracted towards the end, as the film, and its insistently percussive music, grinds on and on. The kid is good, and, unlike this franchise, looks to have a bright future.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour by Company 3 (print by deluxe).
122 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 27 Jun 2018