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

  • Beltway Insider:Shutdown Enters Week Three; September Job Numbers; Federal Reserve Nomination; Malala Visits President

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), and Senate Democrats in the effort to find common ground, as the United States government approaches two full weeks of shutdown, have largely come up empty.

     
  • LION Review – Powerful Stand Out Performances In This Remarkable True Story

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LION, from The Weinstein Company, presents a powerful story of a boy lost in one of the most dangerous cities in the world for children, of escape, of and finally finding hope again decades later.

     
  • Victor Frankenstein Review – Flawless Performances as McAvoy and Radcliffe Capture the Mind-Bending Macabre

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Victor Frankenstein, from 20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment, brings to the screen a ghoulish and morbid tale with the history of the mad scientific study behind the folklore piecemeal creation of the first monster behind the mythology of Frankenstein.

     
  • Seven Natural Ways to Stop Excessive Sweating

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Now that summer is here, most of us are delighted to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. However, excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, afflicts more people than you might think and can stem from a large number of underlying triggers.

     
  • Seasons 52 Restaurant Review - A Breadth of Fresh Fare

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Just in time to offset the holiday gluttony and facilitate those perennial New Year health resolutions, Seasons 52 restaurant has opened its doors in San Diego's Westfield UTC.  The concept of this fresh grill and wine bar, now with 25 locations across the U.S. and more on the  horizon, is perfectly suited for the Southern California lifestyle where healthy living reigns supreme.

     
  • Luke Perry, Film and Television Star, Dies at 52

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Luke Perry, the way too cool star of the 1990's teen television hit Beverly Hills, 90210, died today after suffering a massive stroke five days ago from which he never recovered. He was 52.

     
  • It’s Not You, It’s Me Review – Romance For All of Us

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It’s Not You, It’s Me,” from Mule Films, brings to the screen a truly engaging, charming, romantic comedy that may just silence those nagging voices that prevent real intimacy and commitment.

     
  • Beltway Insider Special: Hillary Clinton’s Post Election Self-Examination

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hillary Clinton is out; no longer hiking in the woods securing a fresh perspective, the former Presidential Candidate has opened herself to the media to discuss with logical reasoning the electoral loss that cost the people her Presidency.

     
  • Celebrities Use Bee Venom Cream Mask such as Kalon Skincare to Keep Their Vitality Glowing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It has been reported that celebrities around the world have turned to the highly effective lifting properties of bee venom. From Fashion forward Royal Kate Middleton, Victoria Beckham, Gywneth Paltrow, to Supermodels Danii Minogue, (Huffington Post, Vogue 2012, Sunrise Australia) Kylie Bax, and many others have turned to various bee venom skincare treatments that were reportedly first introduced to Ms. Middleton by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

     
  • Business News: High Spending Nonprofits: Charities that Offer the Most Compensation

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When you picture a nonprofit, perhaps you think of a small charity, complete with selfless employees, minuscule wages and a fierce commitment to “the greater good.” It’s about morals over money, human decency over competitive salaries.

     
  • Row NYC Hotel Review - Perfecting The Art of Hospitality

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Travelers seeking to plunge themselves into the pulse of New York City's famed Times Square area need only book a stay at Row NYC—an independent hotel that prides itself on offering guests an immersive experience in the very heart of Manhattan.

     
  • Kon-Tiki Review – Visually Stunning, Inspirational, An Epic Tale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    “Kon-Tiki,” from The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment, brings to the screen an epic tale that feeds the explorer spirit, pitting man against nature, in this real life high seas action adventure.

     
  • THE IMPOSTER, A Riveting Psychological Journey, from Director Bart Layton

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    THE IMPOSTER, a riveting psychological journey, delves into the 1994 disappearance of Texas teenager Nicholas Barclay and the astronomical odds of his safe return.

     
  • Trudeau Lumina Copper Fondue Set Review - Retro Favorite Modernized For Elegance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Dust off those Fondue Pots, the 1970’s party must have is seeing a resurgence thanks to prop placement in film and television, a retro favorite Fondue Parties have been modernized for elegance with sleek, stylish sets.

     
  • Beltway Insider: ISIS Leader Killed; Boston Bomber Sentenced; GCC Meet; Morsi; B.B. King Passes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has sent Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the first official state meeting since the illegal annexation of Crimea and violation of territorial sovereignty of neighboring Ukraine.