Denis Villeneuve’s white-hot drug thriller Sicario (2015), about FBI agents carrying out rogue operations against Mexican drug cartels, gets a hard-charging sequel that’s equal parts anti-immigrant hysteria and gun-death porn. Returning screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water) opens with a Fox News fantasy in which jihadists sneak over the U.S.-Mexico border and stage a bombing attack on a big-box store. From the original movie, Emily Blunt has bailed out, but jacked-up Josh Brolin and so-sad Benicio Del Toro are back, as agents sent by commander Catherine Keener to foment a war between rival cartels so the feds can divide and conquer. Their escapades, involving the kidnap of a drug lord’s snotty 16-year-old daughter, result in numerous heads spraying across walls and windshields; director Stefano Solima has a real eye for this stuff, and Columbia Pictures should consider excerpting slow-motion footage for gallery installations.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
R • 2 hours 2 min • 2018