Sicario: Day of the Soldado
This film is not going to pass the Bechdel Test, but at least it had no illusion of doing so. Ultimately, this surprisingly topical sequel is a summer escapism that hung its allure on two brooding, macho leads speaking very little and doing very violent things. And if you go in not expecting anymore than that, then director Stefano Sollima and cinematographer Dariusz Wolski capably carried the mantel over from Dennis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins, respectively, to tell Taylor Sheridan's modern-western/mexican epic.
Sheridan, for all his faults in writing female characters, is a good writer for the male psyche and daftly managed to topically tie in the story with the current political mess. And the universe that he had created would not be out of place now as a prestige television series. Even the way the story is structured seemed suitable for an event series.
Josh Brolin continued his streak of playing tough strong men - see: Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War - okie, maybe men is too rigid a term. Nonetheless, Brolin seemed to have embodied the gruff, all-american masculinity.
In contrast, Benicio del Toro exuded a distinctive masculine charm of another kind. The smooth, silent and deadly operator; speaks little and lets his actions carry the weight (Sheridan even highlighted this at one point to the extreme).
However, del Toro and Brolin had great bro-mance together and their scenes reflected the easy chemistry between them. And for a few moments, Emily Blunt was missed.
The score was by Hildur Guðnadóttir, a collaborator of Jóhann Jóhannsson in the first film, and she echoed his music here with the heavy use of strings.
Blunt needs to be back for the eventual sequel, for the series to work narratively. Ideally, Villeneueve and Deakins too which would make for a great production-narrative.