Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray/DVD and Digital from writer Taylor Sheridan, director Stefano Sollima and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is an escalation of a drug was and SICARIO: Day of the Soldado.

After a suicide bombing in Kansas City, Federal Agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) receives orders to find a way of stopping terrorists coming to the United States. The government suspects that the Mexican drug cartels are responsible and wants something done about it. The plan is to instigate a war between the big cartels starting with kidnapping the daughter of a kingpin.

Graver knows who he needs to help with this mission and seeks out Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro). After creating a kidnapping-rescue to win the young Isabel’s (Isabela Moner) trust, her father ups the game even further by using Mexican police for a double cross on Graver, Gillick and the other soldiers. Returning fire is what also turns the game.

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Isabel runs and the U.S. government is furious over the deaths of the Mexican police fearing it will cause more problems. Especially when it is discovered that the bombing suspects are not who they thought. To clean up the mess, Graver is ordered to stand down and do what is necessary to make everything that happened go away – and anyone involved.

Gillick decides he is not about to do what Graver asks and works his way to the border with Isabel. The only way they can enter is by become illegal immigrants. Unfortunately Gillick is recognized and meets his fate at the hands of a kid. Graver finds Isabel and goes against orders bringing her to the United States.

But this isn’t over – for either Graver or Gillick!

Brolin as Graver jumps right into the assignment knowing what it will take to get the job done. Given the information about the mission he proceeds by finding the best to work with. Jumping from plan to plan, things become complicated when the information shifts and the cartels are infiltrating those who are suppose to protect them. I actually enjoy Brolin in these roles; he has the straight face needed to never let his hand show. Also, when he’s done being used, he is done being used!

Del Toro as Gillick is the perfect person to call on for the mission. The problem for him is that he doesn’t like it when the plan makes a U-turn and he’s on the other side of the fight. This actor has the same abilities as Brolin in that he can be as crazy as you want him to be but there are moments when he just takes a deep breath as if to warn the person he’s talking to that it’s not wise to push him further. Taking an interest in Isabel’s welfare also puts a target on his back – literally.

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Moner as Isabel is one tough teenager, when she’s in school slapping around a fellow student. The minute the bullets fly and there isn’t a moment to think, she becomes exactly what she is – a vulnerable and terrified teenage girl who can’t smart mouth her way out of trouble. Now, she sees the horror of the business her father is a part of and it isn’t pretty. As the mission escalates, she has to learn what she is capable of and who to trust. Moner does a good job in what is needed to keep her character moving forward.

Other cast include Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Gallo, Shea Whigham as Andy Wheeldon, Elijah Rodriguez as Miguel Hernandez, Howard Ferguson as Troy, Catherine Keener as Cynthia Foards and Mathew Modine as Secretary of Defense James Riley.

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The Bluray/DVD include the Special Features of From Film to Franchise: Continuing the Story, An Act of War: Making Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and The Assassin and the Soldier: The Cast and Characters.

SICARIO: Day of the Soldado is a continuation of the story that started with the 2015 film SICARIO also written by Taylor Sheridan. The film was a big hit and with Brolin, del Toro and Blunt at the helm of the story, it makes sense that this film would come to be.

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This time director Sollima jumps in the director’s seat and knows exactly how to make the story come to life. Using the countryside as another character in the story, it brings a depth to the film. He is responsible for the 2012 television series A.C.A.B. and Gomorroah.

What makes this film work are the twists and turns in the plot as, like with Isabel, you aren’t always sure who to trust. The case is made that the good guys might not be so good and the bad guys can have a conscience too (as with Gillick).

From beginning to end, SICARIO: Day of the Soldado is go, go, go with not much time to catch it’s breath but I like it that way. Even when walking through the desert, I found myself waiting for the next cactus to fall.

I am on board with this thriller to bring Gillick and Graver back for a showdown because there is no way this is over – no way.

In the end – no rules this time!