A key part of the success of 2015’s Sicario was Emily Blunt’s role, which provided a moral balance to the hard-hitting story. Her character does not return in Sicario: Day of the Soldado; the main reason for this, according the director Stefano Sollima, was that they explicitly did not want this sequel to have a moral compass. Unfortunately, it turns out that is exactly what makes this movie nowhere near as interesting as its predecessor.
The background to Sicario’s story is the premise that the war on drugs cannot be won by playing by the rules. Or even that the war on drugs cannot be won at all, as it it has become a self-defeating prophecy: an endless war with drug lords pursuing ever more creative ways of going underground and at the same time embracing ever more violent ways to achieve their goals. Trying to get some kind of control back over this is not for the weak.
“Hail Caesar!” is a gentle comedy on the surface, but seems to me more a homage to the glory days of the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s-50s. At that time the “big five” studios (Warner, RKO, Fox, Loew and Paramount) controlled every aspect of film production, from script writing through to distribution. Actors were on contract to a studio, who managed every aspect of their career and their public image.
In 1992, Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), a Kiwi mountaineer, was the first to establish a commercial tourist business guiding (fit & wealthy) amateurs up Everest with his company Adventure Consultants, for $65,000 per person. With such an appealing income, other entrepreneurial mountaineers followed suit, offering the same climb for less money. Hall had a strong reputation for reliability and safety, and amongst the other mountaineering companies was known as The Mayor of Basecamp.
I’ll admit I enjoy sci-fi and generally give any sci-fi movie a go. And this one comes with recommendations galore – inlcuding e.g. a score of 8.2 on IMDB and score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it must be pretty good.