Sicario: Day of the Soldado Here's one that could look on the surface like a case of extremely unfortunate timing, or even of pandering to the worse angels of our nature. Is this really the week for a crime drama that depicts terrorists pouring over our Southern border at the behest of Mexican drug lords? That seems like exactly the kind of Ingraham-approved fantasy that's used to justify locking up 2-year-olds, because they're all just waiting to shoot you in the ass like the tyke who challenged the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles. Oh, and there's also a plotline about a "false flag" operation, which would appear to appeal directly to the sort of folks who can't order a slice of pizza without wondering how many juvenile sex slaves are locked up in the back (when they should be in a Texas detention center instead, because as we've established, the little bastards all just want to shoot you in the ass).
But anybody who heads to the theater expecting a 2-hour rationale for Building the Wall might end up confused, because the story of Sicario 2 continues the critique of U.S. drug policy on which the franchise is based. This time, the CIA orders the kidnapping of a drug kingpin's daughter, in the hopes the heinous act will be pinned on a rival cartel. Suffice it to say that things don't go exactly smoothly. Sorry for the wake-up call, Earl, but maybe it's a nice time for us to be reminded that our country's disastrous drug policy is the reason little Pedro is knocking on our door. (No, it isn't because he's a veteran Ain't It Cool News reader on a pilgrimage to the original Alamo Drafthouse.)
Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin return from the original – and I have to admit I'm secretly hoping the latter gets to say, "We can't just snap our fingers and solve this," because wouldn't that be several kinds of awesome? Meanwhile, director Denis Villeneuve has been replaced by Italian filmmaker Stefano Solima. The thorny relationship between law enforcement and the underworld is familiar territory to Solima, although he was criticized for allegedly glorifying police violence in his 2012 feature, ACAB – All Cops Are Bastards. Still, what a great title. I think I'm going to scrawl that on a $39 coat for the next time I visit Sam's Club. (R)
Uncle Drew NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving reprises the role of an aged basketballer that he originated in the hit YouTube Pepsi ad. This is one of those projects for which I am clearly not in the target market: I know nothing about basketball, I don't drink Pepsi when I can help it, and I use YouTube mostly to ferret out fan-shot Ghost concert footage. But I did live in Orlando in the '90s, so I know the supporting performance by Shaquille O'Neal is something I should feel uncomfortable about. Mostly because of something called free throws. Whatever they might be. One Diet Coke, please! (PG-13)