Plot: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.
Sicario is a tensely packed thriller that does not let its’ audience relax for the duration of the two hours. It is harsh on the eyes and does not shy away from violence, but I didn’t find it gratuitous and that works fine for me in a film. I don’t appreciate senseless violence that serves only to shock and not to further the story. Sicario’s gritty crime scenes will undoubtedly stay with you but it is more because of what it indicates of the world than the violence itself.
I was under the impression and still am that the entire cast delivered a stellar performance. The most outstanding is without a doubt Benicio Del Toro. He was incessantly praised for his work as Alejandro and after seeing him at it I am not in the least surprised. Alejandro’s motives aren’t clear and he’s not your average black or white character. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? It is obvious that you shouldn’t mess with him and that he is dangerous and well versed in drug trafficking. Up until the very end you still don’t know whether you can trust him. Hell, I’m still not even sure whether he is GOOD or BAD. I really liked that he was so short with Kate in the beginning and eventually thawed towards her, yet never deviating from his overall mission.
It would be easy to overlook Josh Brolin, who played his character with cockiness that was wildly appealing. It would also be quite unfair because there were times where I really wanted more of him on screen because he was every bit as shady as Alejandro, only more good natured about it. It is also impossible to trust him one hundred percent. He and Alejandro are clearly thick as thieves and they share trust, but are they who they say they are?
Then there was Kate who is brought to the screen by Emily Blunt. I am always onboard with watching a drama that has Blunt in, she is exceptionally good in dramas and action films. I know some people thought she was a bit hyper emotional. Was she emotional? Yes. Was she also a young, optimistic FBI agent that got pulled in deep very quickly? Also yes. I won’t say that I wish the character had had the balls to fight back at her enemies, but I did enjoy her.
There are a lot of other actors I enjoyed – Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, and Daniel Kaluuya had their time on screen here and I loved them for it. I am such a major fan of Victor Garber. You can’t watch Alias and not be, he is one of the very best in there. I really haven’t seen Bernthal in anything actually, although I have heard of him and for the few moments he was here I was highly appreciative. Daniel Jaluuya was Kate’s partner, and he had perhaps even a more optimistic opinion of the law enforcement world. They had a sweet relationship full of friendship and support and genuine care.
I have to say one of this film’s greatest accomplishments is that it kept my attention. For the two hours I was engrossed and didn’t want to stop watching once. I can’t tell you how rare that is, as I am fully convinced I have some adult ADHD because I get bored and distracted quite easily. That, combined with how boring movies can get these days, makes it just short of a miracle that I was engaged the entire time. The last half an hour had me holding my breath. It was tense and up until the very end I really couldn’t predict who would walk out alive.
If I had taken the time to watch Sicario in 2015, it probably would have ended up really high on my 2015 TOP TEN films. I was immensely pleased to hear that director Denis Vileneuve is planning to to make this a franchise by directing Soldado, in which, Soldado in which Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro reprise their roles. I’m raising my hand here in the “Who can’t wait” department, and I will be first in line to buy a ticket. I will also commit to watching Prisoners – I’ve been hounded by people to watch this film for ages now, but now that I know how good director Vileneuve is I will definitely give it a try.