MOVIE REVIEW: Sicario sequel moves at a cracking pace
WHEN Sicario hit cinema screens in 2015 it brought home the brutality, lawlessness and terror that Mexican drug cartels represent, making it an intense, realistic cinema experience.
Now, three years later, two of the characters from that intense, edge of the seat thriller return to continue the story of the war against organisations with no respect for law and order.
In Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the series begins a new chapter. In the drug war, there are no rules - and when the US government begins to suspect that cartels have started trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in new, brutal ways.
Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin's daughter to inflame the conflict, expecting the cartels to go to war with each other, 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.
Anyone who saw Sicario in 2015 will remember what an unsettling experience it was. As an action thriller you marvelled at the action scenes, while at the same time stressing out as you experienced the fear of knowing every breath could be your last.
Emily Blunt was the focus of the first movie, and now with this sequel that wasn't expected, it is left to the two male leads to continue the new, and boy does it deliver in the action.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado is everything that fans of the original loved, but also will appeal to a new band of movie-goers, as this could easily be a stand-alone movie so don't stress if you haven't seen the original.
Early in the movie there is a frighteningly realistic terror attack on a supermarket, and with the new currency for the cartels being people not drugs, the war on the cartels takes a new focus, and it has never been more timely, or realistic as in 2018.
Human trafficking is rife around the globe, and Sicario: Day of the Soldado is so realistic it is scary.
Josh Brolin has much more to do with this sequel, and proves once again after Deadpool 2 and Only The Brave that he is an actor at the top of him game. At the same time, Benicio Del Toro is in his element as the mysterious Alejandro who you just can't predict.
The other stand-out is the young actress Isabela Moner, who plays the kidnapped daughter of a cartel leader, and she is excellent in every scene she's in.
While the sequel lacks the multiple plot twists of the original movie, it results in a more enjoyable experience as it becomes an easy to follow simpler action/thriller, that takes its story straight from the news headlines.
If you enjoy an action flick full of covert surveillance, interrogation, drones, police escorts going bad, undercover operations, bad guys who need a good whooping, helicopter chases, explosions and a bunch of agents trying to do good against all the odds, then you'll love Sicario: Day of the Soldado.
It moves at a cracking pace and builds up the tension to a satisfying conclusion that leaves you out of breath, yet wanting to see even more about the war on the cartels.
Which movie is better will be up to the viewer, but on its own merits, this delivers everything that you want in a gritty, realistic thriller packed with believable action scenes and a fair share of shocks and plenty of blood.
If you're tired of superheroes, dinosaurs, space battles and cartoons, then Sicario: Day of the Soldado has come at just the right time and will satisfy your desire for a decent action movie that you can sink your teeth in, and again proves Josh Brolin is the thinking man's action hero.
Enjoy every moment, because Sicario: Day of the Soldado delivers a movie you won't forget in a hurry.
In cinemas on Thursday.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Stars: Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Isabela Moner, Matthew Modine, Jeffrey Donovan.
Director: Stefano Sollima
Verdict: 4/5 Stars