Sicario: Day of the Soldado Review - A High Powered, Bad Ass, Mercenary Thriller

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, from Sony Pictures Entertainment, picks up the story of the dirty deeds mercenary and his team as they weed out the strengthening Mexican cartels by instigating an inner cartel war with disastrous results.

Directed by Stefano Sollima, and written by Taylor Sheridan, Sicario: Day of the Soldado stars Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Catherine Keener, Matthew Modine, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Shea Whigham, Elijah Rodriguez, Howard Ferguson Jr., David Castaneda, Faysal Ahmed, and Bruno Bichir.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado begins with what appears to a common round up of Mexican illegals attempting to cross over the US border. With air support providing night vision we see a man attempting to escape the circling border patrol. As he is approached we see a self-detonation device in his hand and in one moment, what was thought to be a normal night raid, became an international terrorist situation.

Burn Out Review - Gritty, Edgy, A High Octane Thriller

After this incident and the possibility of terrorists finding a door into the US the film moves to Kansas City as four men walk into a national drugstore chain and in succession blow themselves up in coordinated suicide bombings striking terror in the heartland.

In response to these actions Secretary of Defense James Riley, played by Matthew Modine, addresses the nation speaking the appropriate words to assure the people the full weight of the US government and every resource will be employed to find those responsible and hold them accountable.

At this point we meet Matt Graver, played by Josh Brolin, who, fresh from a mercenary ordered attack on a third world pirate who is paid to allow certain ships carrying terrorists safe passage to Mexico, is now meeting with the Secretary of Defense and his fixer, Cynthia Foards, played by Catherine Kenner.

After an up to speed brief, the objective for the meeting becomes clear: Graver is called in to create a war between the cartels with the illusions of an attempt by a smaller cartel to carve out more territory and destroy the hierarchy. With a greenlight and treasury funding he sets out to build his team outfitting them with all the technologically advanced war toys money can buy.

Heading south of the border, he pulls his team from past missions and Alejandro, played by Benicio Del Toro, is trusted, with a vendetta and not exactly one to follow the rules. The two work well together. And on this mission as Graver explains he is given a early Christmas present and with no limits he is finally presented with the chance to begin to exact revenge, payback, for the drug cartel leader who had his family killed.

After an easy hit on the money man, the team along with Steve Forsing, played by Jeffrey Donovan, move in on the extraction target, Isabel Reyes, played by Isabela Moner, the daughter of the Cartel kingpin. As it is Mexico, everyone, from the garbage man to the police, the federalist, are on one of the cartel’s payroll. This time it’s the police.

With Isabel abducted, and the cartels believing an inner-cartel war is exploding, the team, still working under the objective of finding out who is smuggling the terrorists into the US and who, if anyone, paves the road for them.

Action packed up to this point, Sicario: Day of the Soldado increases the pace with heightened suspense and mid objective order changes which create the pushback struggles. Besides being purely entertaining, Sicario is a kick-ass, high body count, modern day Mexico, cartel dominated, US impotent, mercenary flick. What’s not to like?

With powerhouse performances led by Benicio Del Toro who has more of a physical role in this film and delivers the strong, tough, killer and tenderhearted solider and Josh Brolin, whose role is one of struggling internally against an administration that essentially has no idea what boots on the ground and start a war really means has to make real time decisions life or death decisions. The struggle is palpable.

Isabel Moner was equally impressive and delivers a stand out performance. Even as her best scenes may have been in the school yard fight and her escape in the middle of a gun battle when her physiciality portrays the terror of the moment.

As much as she plays the tough daughter of a drug cartel kingpin, she is essentially a Cartel Princess enjoying the life of ill gotten means and unaccustomed to the merciless evil. Her captivity and silent transformation from arrogant, unfeeling and cold to dependent and caring came across well. 

Op/Ed: Mexico – The New Syria

Special mention to the amazing supporting cast and secondary story actors. On a film of this scale without everyone, the immigrants, the federalists in masks and full face tactical gear, the unseen players all bringing an authenticity to the situation makes Sciario believeable. Also to Bruno Bichir, who plays Angel

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the second from screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, continues to bring a fresh voice to the current and heightening undeclared Mexican Civil War.

With the murder rate rising, and smuggling at a all time high, the nation is struggling to maintain democratic principles and Sheridan takes these elements and presents sharp dialogue, heightened stakes and internal struggles against a very real enemy.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado is playing in theaters everywhere. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Gift Guide: Dakota Watches - Perfect Alone or Pair Up For A Trendy Urban Look

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Minimalism is a trend that we have seen grow in popularity. Clean simplistic designs and accents add a crisp finish to any outfit. Dakota Watches offers trendy time piece accessories which are high style and perfect for gift giving.  

  • Ferrari Fever as Salon Privé Unveils full Concours Masters line-up Showcase Ferrari’s 70-year history

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The first UK event to host two consecutive Concours competitions, Salon Privé is delighted to announce the full line-up for its Concours Masters 'Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari' celebration in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, August 31st through September 2nd. 

  • Money News: DOW, US Markets Mauled in Q3 2015

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stocks closed out the day on Wednesday higher than previous days, but not enough to recover from an otherwise rough third quarter. Heading into Wednesday, the Dow was down 8.9%, its worst performance since the third quarter of 2011.  

  • Love & Friendship Review - Beautifully Done, An Unconventional, Winning, Comedy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Love & Friendship, from Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions, present a beautifully crafted charmingly manipulative, visually creative experience, based on Jane Austen’s comedic novella, Lady Susan, depicting the manner in which society looks upon women of determination and freedom.

  • Critique: The Traitor, Mob Drama se Dirige Vers Les Oscars, Ouvre en Novembre

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Traitor, entrée officielle de l'Italie à la 92e cérémonie des Oscars, présente la véritable histoire de Tommaso Buscetta, premier chef de la mafia sicilienne, qui a franchi la barrière de la confiance et accepté de devenir un informateur travaillant avec le procureur.  

  • France Macron and France Yellow Vests

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Yellow Vests crisis reveals the existence of a two France nation that many oppose: Principles, history, beliefs, ambition. Neither will yield. And the outcome of the crisis may be in the disappearance of one of the two.

  • HL Arts: Ella Kogan, Clay Sculptress, Unveils Commanding, Extraordinary Collection

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Known for her visionary sculptures, Ella Kogan is an artist whose creativity and deftness come from something more than inspiration. As she herself attests, her ability to create this works of art comes from something of a higher power.

  • Money News: DOW Remains Strong; European Markets Solid; Asian Markets Split

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rallied over the past week as investors, welcoming the news of the public decisive vote on Tuesday's election, returned to the business of investing and moved ahead with a consumer confidence. The NASDAQ closed slightly lower.

  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure - An Explosive, Solid, Wild, Sci-Fi Winner

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Maze Runner: The Death Cure, from Twentieth Century Fox, presents the third installment in the wildly popular Maze Runner Franchise, with sharp, crisp stunts and special effects, unexpected twists and shocking turns and an explosive, climatic, finale.

  • Hollywood Stars, Popular Musicians, Sports Legends and TV Personalities to Attend 2014 International CES

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Arlington, Va., January 2, 2014 – The 2014 International CES® will feature Hollywood stars, popular musicians, sports legends and TV personalities promoting innovative products and technologies revolutionizing the ways consumers work, play, connect and access information. Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the 2014 CES, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, will run January 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada

  • HL London: New Tunes from The Vellas, Three Dimensional Tanx, Partisan, Hands off Gretel, featuring Lauren Tate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From Blue Soap here's a selection of our rock releases covering every genre from psych and indie to grunge. Your support is always hugely appreciated, so as ever please do drop me a line if you'd like to interview or feature any of our artists and I'll make arrangements.  

  • Travels back In Time - Vintage Trunks, Luggage, From Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Goyard

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Starting on the 15th of November, Collector Square, Paris, will open its exceptional sale of items from the world of travel, a collection of nearly 30 antique trunks, bags and travel accessories from the grandest luxury brands.

  • World Denounces Nigerian Abduction; Demands Safe Return

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton along with other world leaders, have denounced the recent abduction of over 200 Nigerian girls from the dormitory of their boarding school, by Boko Haram group, a known terrorist group, and presumably sold into slavery.

  • The Hollars Review - Heartwarming, A Touching, Winning, Ensemble Performance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Hollars, from Sony Picture Classics, presents the story of a middle class American family, with all the rites of passage that brings them to one moment that tests the family's strength, love and the lessons nurtured.

  • A Health Savings Account Could Save Your Life

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In a lawsuit against Aetna for denial of benefits which the patient alleges "almost killed him," Aetna's medical director admitted under oath that he never looked at patients' medical records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.