Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Director: Stefano Sollima
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 2.5

There's a major problem at the U.S./Mexico border with terrorists sneaking into our country so "fixer" Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) gets a team together, including his trusted lawyer-turned-assassin Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to sneak in, kidnap a kingpin's daughter (Isabela Moner) and let the cartels fight it out ... although that doesn't go as planned. As a rule, sequels are rarely better than their predecessors and this cannot top the masterful Villeneuve effort: the mood is different (and less ambiguous), the moral center (Emily Blunt) is gone and functionality has replaced artistry, but it's still a decent action movie with an interesting third act. The decision to "humanize" the Alejandro character "tames" it a lot - he was a possessed madman in the first (and justifiably so), but here he softens up ... and even knows sign language! I wonder if he could have signed, "As your attorney, I suggest not shooting me in the face. It only makes me madder."