Mexican horror wave: Sicario 2 is a white-knuckled ride from start to finish, writes KATE MUIR

Sicario: Soldier's Day

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Full of hard men and military equipment, Sicario: Day Of The Soldier is explosive, with a plot of propulsion. But the thriller also throws a shrill schoolgirl into the criminal mix, with surprising consequences.

This sequel to Sicario is among the drug cartels in the Mexico-United States. border, and once again is starring Josh Brolin as an agent of secret operations of the CIA, and Benicio Del Toro as his conspirator in Mexico.

The two gentlemen simply exude testosterone under their bulletproof black vests.

When cartels expand their drug smuggling business to traffickers and terrorist bombs, Matt Graver (Brolin) and Alejandro Gillick (Del Toro) are sent to do dirty work by the US government. UU., Which of course will deny everything publicly.

Benicio Del Toro stars in Sicario: Day Of The Soldier, which features scenes of violence and explosives

Benicio Del Toro stars in Sicario: Day Of The Soldier, which features scenes of violence and explosives

Benicio Del Toro stars in Sicario: Day Of The Soldier, which features scenes of violence and explosives

One of the most shocking scenes of the ever violent movie is a multiple explosion at a Kansas City supermarket, as a mother and her young daughter are within a few feet of a suicide bomber with IS.

After this, Graver follows the trail of the bombers back to Somalia and to Mexico, threatening to torture them and the submarine along the way. & # 39; This is Africa. I can do whatever I want here, "says Graver, ordering a drone attack on the relatives of an unfortunate man.

The work of the CIA's clandestine operations is to put an end to the bombing by initiating a war that distracts two Mexican cartels "kidnapping a prince", which in this case turns out to be a rich princess, Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner), the teenage daughter of the poster leader

Moner is full of push, he sees himself for the first time in his gray school robe giving a good hit to a girl who has made fun of her in the playground, an omen of trouble to come.

All this is just the beginning of a film that rotates and rotates constantly, which requires constant concentration as scenes and bodies accumulate.

Written by Taylor Sheridan, who created the Oscar-nominated Hell Or High Water, the thriller occasionally slips into western territory, with its gunmen crossing and re-crossing the desert frontier.

Oscar-winning director of photography, Roger Deakins, is behind the camera, and his aerial filming of a convoy of armored vehicles that plow through the dust is filled with suspense and fatality, intensified by the bass and drums in the soundtrack.

Brolin and Del Toro are in their element: at once cool, tired and incredibly slippery, while those around them lose their heads, often literally.

The savagery is continuous, fueled by rocket-propelled grenades, armored personnel carriers, military helicopters and flat nose machine guns. What is disturbing is to see Isabel, who seems to be around 14 years old, watching the violence.

She is a pawn in the ruthless game of men. When she is splashed with blood and shaken by bullets, no one else seems bothered in the least.

At ONE point, Isabel is almost separated from Alejandro when she tries to sneak across it, and the sight of children and parents crouching in terror in the dark to wait for the traffickers of people on the border with Mexico has disturbing resonances with recent news.

Another teenager appears in the chaos: Miguel Hernández (Elijah Rodríguez), a Mexican with a US passport who works for a gang of people smugglers.

The original Sicario in 2015 starred Emily Blunt as an FBI agent, who fought and overcame the machismo challenges around her.

This time, however, Blunt is missing and the whole film is more of a blunt instrument without it: the carnage follows the butchery, but the emotional core seems strangely empty.

Do not leave a trace (PG)

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Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie stars Leave No Trace

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie stars Leave No Trace

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie stars Leave No Trace

Director Debra Granik launched Jennifer Lawrence's career when she saw the young actress and projected her into her gritty mountain drama Winter & # 39; s Bone.

Now Granik has done it again with the talented Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, who plays another girl who reaches the age of majority in the desert of the United States.

In Leave No Trace, McKenzie is Tom, a unique daughter who has lived disconnected from the Internet for years with her father Will (a Ben Foster superbly underestimated). First we see them living the high bucolic life in the speckled light of emeralds from a forest near Portland, Oregon.

The father-daughter relationship is wonderfully explored, with almost silent harmony, as they show expert survival skills, and hide like wild animals from work crews and hikers. Do not leave a trace is your mantra.

But as Tom moves from being a boy to a young woman, his curiosity about the outside world increases, while his father, a war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress, needs the security of isolation.

After a clandestine visit to the city in search of supplies, the tug between nature and civilization destroys their idyll and social services intervene. The forms will be completed.

Will is stifled by convention and confinement in a traditional house, and when helicopters enter to pick up lots of Christmas trees that he is cutting in his new job, the battle in his head explodes.

Thus begins a dangerous adventure in nature, while father and daughter go running and temperatures go below zero.

There is real warmth and generosity for the strangers who help Will and Tom on their way. The eccentric people who live in trailers in the forest here could be described as the salt of the earth, although their guitar touch could do with a bit of polishing.

McKenzie is completely convincing with his tender and flourishing performance, and his pale face illuminates the screen.

The delicate balance between a man who can not face normal life and a teenager who wants to hug him, tip the scales.

Granik has made another lyric, brave, evocative film that shows the most vulnerable part of rural America in a new light.

Label

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Perhaps the most entertaining of the set comedy is that it is based on a real-life game that a group of not quite mature men have been playing for almost 30 years, since they left high school. Every year, in May, the old friends of the school go anywhere, and to any length, to tag one of their friends in an eternally deliciously stupid chase game across the United States.

Who is & # 39; That & # 39; at the end of the month he has to wait until next year to get revenge.

In the funny film version, Jeremy Renner (Jerry), Jon Hamm (Callahan), Ed Helms (Hoagie), Jake Johnson (Chilli) and Hannibal Buress (Sable) play children who never grew up.

One minute Callahan is a CEO of the Crazy Men style who offers an interview to the Wall Street Journal, and the next he's laughing like a drain, trying to throw chairs through glass windows to chase after Hoagie. There is a joyful innocence in the efforts of the four losers to catch Jerry, a cocky fitness instructor who has never been labeled.

They arrive without invitation to Jerry's wedding, and their meeting Alcoholics Anonymous, in Spokane, Washington. They are followed by the Wall Street Journal reporter (Annabelle Wallis) and Isla Fisher as Hoagie's ultracompetitive wife.

This one-note movie is as fluffy as a boy's old teddy bear, which almost reaches a tragic end. But when the script tries to get serious, the comedy collapses.

The actors clearly have too much fun, and there is something quite contagious about it.

Patrick (PG)

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In Patrick, the pug easily gets the best performance, controlled, puckered, with eyes wide open, while humans end up chewing the landscape.

This hysterical burst of overacting is an attempt to compensate for a lead script, in which a Bridget-Jones singleton disembarks with Patrick, his spoiled and aging maternal grandfather (pictured).

Sarah (Beattie Edmondson) leads to owning a dog like a fish on a bicycle. She is a ditsy English teacher, whose life is turned around by a dog that chews, pooing.

But then Sarah realizes that Richmond Park is full of handsome men and their dogs, in this case a petulant Ed Skrein, and a charming Tom Bennett, the only actor to emerge from this film without shame. There's also a time when Patrick wanders around looking for deer, which looks like a scam from the vicious YouTube viral video of a runaway Labrador ("Fenton!").

Patrick is directed by Mandie Fletcher, which he made absolutely fabulous, but this time the writing is outdated and boring.

Jennifer Saunders is wasted as a school kitchen teacher, as are the cameos of Bernard Cribbins, Roy Hudd and Peter Davison. I laughed once, and that was for the dog.

Drifting (12A)

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In Adrift, Shailene Woodley plays real-life navigator Tami Oldham Ashcraft, who found herself lost in the Pacific Ocean after a hurricane crashed into her yacht.

The adventure of survival begins in the middle of the disaster, when Tami, 23 years old, wakes up, wounded and shocked, between the water and the floating debris under the deck of the boat that she and her fiance Richard Sharp sailed from Tahiti to California.

But Richard is missing, and Tami desperately explores the horizon until she sees him clinging to the yacht's boat. He has broken his leg and ribs, so it seems that Tami will be the captain of this sinking ship.

Thank God, then, for the tape with which Tami repairs some holes in the helmet, but the boat has no motor or candles in operation. In addition, Tami is vegetarian, and the remaining supplies are cans of Spam and sardines. It's going to be a long journey.

Shailene Woodley stars Adrift, a film about a real-life sailor who was stranded in the sea

Shailene Woodley stars Adrift, a film about a real-life sailor who was stranded in the sea

Shailene Woodley stars Adrift, a film about a real-life sailor who was stranded in the sea

It's a bit long for the viewer too, these 41 days at sea, which are interspersed with flashbacks to the romantic encounters of Tami and Richard in a port of Tahiti. Richard is played by Sam Claflin, usually a good actor, but this part of a tense Englishman in a Hawaiian shirt does not fit his talent, and the couple's conversation is forced.

Let's face it, if you cross the Pacific with your new boyfriend, the chemistry must be tremendously hot to spend all that time alone, and Woodley and Claflin just do not have that electricity.

That said, Woodley's performance as Bear Grylls of navigation is excellent, and completely lacking in vanity, as the weight drops off, and his skin crisp like bacon in the heat. Woodley can clearly change her hand to anything from Divergent to Big Little Lies TV, and is very skilled at navigating with a sextant, too.

Drifting never works at all like a movie, and takes a quite different direction from the memories of Ashcraft, Red Sky In Mourning. The film adds a twist that implies hallucinations, which disappoints.

The hurricane itself is frightening, as a wall of water rises above the ship, but unfortunately the rest of the story is a bit damp.

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