Combustible Celluloid
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With: Natasha Henstridge, Costas Mandylor, Manny Perez, Roberto 'Sanz' Sanchez, Amanda Diaz, Addison Kendall, Martin Peña, Juan Carlos Diaz, Carol Florence, Dan Kern, Robert Torres, Jann Ellis, Trevor E. Dickerson, Chengusoyane Kargbo , Jerry Carrier, Jason Iannacone
Written by: Matthew Eason, Ernesto Melara
Directed by: Joth Riggs
MPAA Rating: R for some violence
Running Time: 83
Date: 04/16/2021

Night of the Sicario (2021)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Rest Home Stretch

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A mashed-up collection of cinematic cliches, this faith-based action movie keeps a brisk, largely affable tone throughout, and it might have been a guilty pleasure if it didn't thoroughly fall apart.

A woman (Amanda Diaz) is preparing to testify against a powerful drug cartel. As part of her deal, her husband (Martin Peña) and daughter Amelia (Addison Kendall) are being protected by police, but as a massive, Category 4 hurricane approaches, they are jumped and shot at, and must escape with the aid of Agent Cole Bennett (Costas Mandylor).

They take shelter at the only place available: an assisted living facility for the elderly. The cartel's killers (the sicario) — led by Leon (Manny Perez) — find the place, but must contend with the facility's owner, Taylor Ward (Natasha Henstridge), and its wily, crafty residents.

Night of the Sicario — which, incidentally, has nothing to do with the excellent Sicario or its solid sequel Sicario: Day of the Soldado — might even annoy some viewers with its title, perhaps an attempt to cash in on those earlier movies and fool video renters. But it's hard to hate Henstridge's Taylor, who just wants to help people and keep her struggling assisted living facility open, as well as the nutty cross-section of residents therein.

Yes, it's ridiculous to see these elderly folks helping out in the battle, Die Hard-like, but it's also hard not to root for them. The bad guys eventually gum up the movie, though. They're pretty dumb and easily fooled, and they don't seem too eager to get on with business. (There's a lot of talking.) The film tends to drag because of them, and a "surprise" twist is all-too obvious.

Perhaps the most questionable touch is the little girl, Amelia, who loses both her parents and never seems too upset about it. Instead, she and Taylor bond over a secret room and a chest full of memories. Night of the Sicario has its heart in the right place, but it also needed to get its head in the game.

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