I really liked Sicario and I really dislike sequels, so this was risky. The first film was stealthy and weighted toward its characters, their politics and felt well rooted. This one feels a little more shallow, clunky. Del Toro remains all suave-laced danger and Brolin does the grizzled hardman effortlessly, but the cast around them are dull stereotypes, plodding through a somewhat hackneyed plot. All that said, it is slick. Drug cartels, morally bankrupt Mexicans verses morally pious Americans. Terrorism, kidnappings, all bathed in either a dark washed out grade or a dusty burnt out desert-scape, military vehicles swarming with men dressed in black fatigues. The intelligence though is compelling, war games, counter information, objectives switching in a murky world, it tries desperately to keep you on your feet, whilst trying to convince you of a sentimentality in Del Toro’s motives that are loose at best. It’s a bit predictable and seems to suffer the lack of female lead. Emily Blunt gave the first film structure and that absence leaves this a testosterone heavy hot mess, all blanketed in a thick turgid score that would make even the most smash and grab action director blush. That’s what this is, a blockbuster mentality, attempting and failing at delivering on a serious topic. Some risks don’t pay off.