Movie Review – Sicario (2015)

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya

After making a horrific discovery, idealistic FBI agent Kate (Blunt) is enlisted into a special taskforce put together to dismantle a drug cartel in Mexico. But when she finds herself working with a mysterious Colombian (Del Toro), her questions are met with a dismissive shrug by the leader, Matt (Brolin). As Kate tries to figure out just what exactly she’s doing there, the taskforce gets closer to its ultimate goal.

Having enjoyed Prisoners, I was thrilled to see that Villeneuve had another film coming again. Again, he doesn’t shy away from the nasty or gritty side of life. The audience is put in the same position as Kate; never knowing exactly what is going on and yet this isn’t a film that is meant to be seen for the sake of the twists. It unfolds naturally, and everything makes sense without any grand proclamations of, ‘oh look how clever we are’. It sheds light on the dangerous area of law enforcement, and how it can affect those involved. Blunt is great as the agent who is trying to make sense of it all, and equalled by Del Toro, who is so effortlessly cool, and yet seems so weary of life.

Sicario focuses in on the compromises that people make in their lives, and lends itself to questions like ‘how far is too far?’. Married with this is some amazing cinematography. There’s one sequence in particular, where they descend down a tunnel, which is breathtaking. The whole film is so tightly wound and perfectly paced that it’s tense without being exhausting, and my eyes were glued to the screen, always expecting that something was going to happen, yet never knowing what.

The story itself could have been better. As it is it’s quite generic, and doesn’t have the layers that Prisoners had, but it’s a tremendous film that will have you wondering where the two hours went.

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