In the Dark: Second installment sets up a third 'Sicario'

Benicio Del Toro in Sicario: Day of the Soldado

‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’

Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin

Directed by: Stefano Sollima

Rated: R

The only person having a hotter summer than Southeast Texans has to be Josh Brolin. He has appeared in major roles in not one or two, but three super blockbusters. First he took on the “Avengers” as Thanos and then he tussled with Deadpool as the evil Cable and now he’s back in a sequel not many saw coming, reprising his role as Matt Graver from the 2015 sleeper hit “Sicario.”

This second feature brings back two of the essential characters, but who didn’t return is Emily Blunt (busy filming the new “Mary Poppins” movie), and the director Denis Villeneuve, who relinquished those honors to Stefano Sollima. Also, director of photography Roger Deakins has been replaced by another talented cinematographer, Daruisz Wolski, and sadly, the composer of the signature score, Johann Johannson passed away and now Hilder Gudnadottir steps in.

Even with the return of Brolin and Benecio Del Toro as Alejandro, the long suffering sicario (hitman) who seeks revenge on the head of the drug cartel who killed his family, there would not likely be a return to these characters without Taylor Sheridan, the writer of the first film. Sheridan is also red hot at the moment with hits like “Hell or High Water” and the new “Bonanza” meets “Knots Landing” contemporary western “Yellowstone” starring Kevin Costner on the Paramount cable channel. As a prime time soap set against Big Sky Country, it beats network reruns hands down for some summer TV viewing.

Sheridan returns the story to the southern border, and in an uncanny situation where actual events cross paths with entertainment, the story opens with a nighttime raid of immigrants illegally crossing the border filmed as though it were ripped from the network news last week. One of illegals blows himself up when cornered by law enforcement. Shortly after, three suicide bombers walk in to a Midwestern box store and detonate themselves.

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